Today we conclude our season of Advent and light the fifth and final candle, the Christ Candle. Our Advent theme this year is “A Stained Glass Baby Book.” Many of our mothers kept a baby book with details and highlights from our first few years of life. In our Advent season, we have walked through some of the details and highlights of the most glorious baby ever born.
What hospital were you born in? Today here in America, almost all expecting mothers have the luxury of delivering their baby in a modern hospital with state of the art delivery rooms being attended by a staff of highly trained medical professionals. The environment is friendly and sterile and prepared to safeguard the mother and baby’s lives and to give them the best experience possible.
Jesus’ delivery room was much different. We read in Luke 2:6,7,10,11,12,15,16…
6 And while Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn… 10 And the angel said to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”… 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
You know, Joseph did the best he could for Mary as they came into Bethlehem with the the pains of labor growing, signaling that Jesus would soon be born. But, because of the overcrowding in Bethlehem due to so many people traveling there for the census, the best that Jospeh could do for Mary and Jesus was essentially a cattle stall for a delivery room and a feeding trough for a crib.
It’s hard to imagine that the King of the World was born in such lowly conditions, but Jesus came not only as the King of the World. He also came as the Savior of the World. He came to save the lowly, the outcast, the downtrodden, the sinner far from God. A stable with a manger, although not the ideal delivery room, was the perfect delivery room for one who came to save you and me.
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!