Scripture: Luke 2:1-7
Observation: Because of a nationwide census, Joseph had to return to his hometown in Bethlehem. He took his fiancé Mary with him, and while they were there, she gave birth to her son, Jesus.
Application: Does traveling ever go as expected? This summer, we packed up our then nine-month-old son and made the eight hour drive to South Carolina. We thought we were ready. We had snacks. We had toys. We had bottles and Netflix and portable white noise machines. On the way down, our son was practically an angel – he slept, he ate, he played, and he only cried for about 15 minutes. Major win.
And then we had to come home. Everyone we talked to suggested that we travel at night, so that he would sleep. He did not sleep. In fact, not only didn’t he sleep, he cried. Continually. For six hours. (Apparently, we're friends with a lot of liars.)
I think it’s safe to say that Mary and Joseph’s travel experience didn’t go anything like they expected.
“And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.” (v. 6-7)
The timing? Nothing like they expected.
The location? Nothing like they expected.
The baby? Nothing like we expected.
This little baby, born in the most unassuming of places, would change the world forever. He would bring us into relationship with a God who loves us deeply and relentlessly. He would bring hope, peace, and freedom.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
The One we're waiting for has arrived.
Prayer: God, thank you for the greatest miracle there has ever been, for bringing us into relationship with you forever. Amen.