“Jesus was born in a barn?!! He slept in a food bowl for animals?!” My daughter’s utter astonishment reminded me of how easily we gloss over the Christmas story, the Christmas songs, the reality of how Jesus was born.
I can practically quote the verses of what the angels said to the shepherds that night, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11 – 12.
How familiar do they sound to you?
Or maybe we sing songs like Silent Night and Joy to the World, lyrics such as “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King….”
And we forget that He didn’t come as a King, or as a king would have been born.
Jesus, the Savior, the Messiah, did not come to Earth born in privilege, in a palace with Kings and Queens, with doctors watching and taking care that everything went well.
He was born in a barn – a smelly, dirty, gross barn. I mean, have you been in a barn? On a farm? Do you remember how it smells? Were you watching where you stepped?
He didn’t have the finest beds, the softest blankets, the best cradle, the most high end stuff.
He was laid, as my daughter put it, in a feeding bowl for barn animals.
This blew my daughter’s mind. And it should blow ours also. If we take time to slow down and really think about it, rather than wave our hands thinking, yeah, yeah, I know the story.
God wasn’t going to give us any excuses. He sent His Son Jesus to Earth for us, to save us, to show us how to live. He set aside his godly powers and came to live fully and wholly as human, relying on God the Father’s powers through prayer and faith to show us how to do it. And he wasn’t going to give us a reason to back out, to not live as He asks of us.
We can’t say… well if my childhood was easier…
Jesus was born in a barn and the King at that time wanted to kill Him.
What will people think of me?
Jesus was denied by his own people, taunted, made fun of, rejected.
If I had better friends…
One of Jesus own best friends, one of his 12 disciples betrayed him for money! And Peter denied Him!
If life was easier in general…
Jesus once went 40 days without food and then, at his weakest, was attacked by Satan. But He used God’s word to fight back!
Ok, but… I went through a lot of trauma in my life…
Jesus was beaten and ultimately crucified.
When I begin writing in the morning, I often don’t know where I’m headed. Especially when I just stare at my computer and ask God to help me write. He prompted me to write about my daughter’s reaction to Jesus being born in a barn and we ended up with there is no excuse not to strive to live like Jesus lived. We have the same access to power He did. The same ability to pray, to worship, to call down miracles from heaven.
I suppose God would like us to slow down a bit and really ponder the birth story of Christ this season. Make it about Jesus and move to make our lives more like Jesus as well. I’m thankful God can speak through me even when I feel so unsure about what I’m writing.
Happy Monday friends.