This Christmas, I have been continually taken back to my experience in the Church of the Nativity when God allowed me to “see” and “experience” the most precious night there ever was – when Jesus was born in a lowly stable. He was given and freely came as the best gift we will ever receive.
I keep thinking about the completely gaudy church with all the gold in the building and the trinkets hanging from the ceiling and sitting around. It is a place fit for what we think of for the worldly kings. But that isn’t the world where Jesus was born. He came into the world at our level, so we can identify with Him and know that He came for all people, no matter where they are or what they do in their lives.
He didn’t have powerful parents with everything money could buy. He had an extremely young mom with parents who had nothing of monetary value. He came humbly into the world, to a place we all could imagine and understand – His first bed was an animal trough. The King of kings first laid His head in a box made to feed animals.
But even though He was born in the lowliest of places, His Father gave Him a fanfare like no other has ever seen to announce His birth. He provided for the family from the gifts of three wise men who followed God’s leading to find Him. And when they found Him they worshipped Him presenting gifts of extraordinary value. From what I’ve researched, they probably arrived shortly before the family had to run for their lives to Egypt. They had to run to protect Jesus from King Herod’s bloodthirsty decree to kill all males two years of age and younger so that Jesus would not take over his kingdom. He had no idea what kind of Kingdom Jesus has. The family had to leave everything and everyone they knew, along with any means to earn money, but God provided.
I see the church in my mind’s eye, and I feel the discomfort I had at how horrible I thought the church looked. And, then, I am taken back to that beautiful night and I am filled with awe. The love that I felt with the babe in His mother’s arms, and then the joy at the brilliance of the angels’ appearance, left me in tears. I will never forget it and I’m so blessed that I was given such an amazing gift.
I pray your Christmas was memorable as you spent time with family and friends. But most of all, I pray that each and every one of you have experienced or will experience the best relationship of all – one with Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
~ Joanna Lynn