And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 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.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
HOW JESUS CAME: In Poverty
No short cuts or privilege. That’s how our God entered the world. The angel came to declare the Gospel, the good news, that the savior, heir of David, Messiah, and Lord was born, and the sign was that they would find him swaddled and lying in a feeding trough.
They came to Bethlehem because there was a decree for all Jews to be registered, and since Joseph was from the line of David they had to leave Nazareth and go to Bethlehem. This was the infamous city that was prophesied as the birth place of the Messiah. It’s interesting that they sought to stay in an inn, because if this was where Joseph was registering you would think he would have family that would allow them to stay. Perhaps his family had disowned him at this point because of his marriage to Mary in spite of her getting pregnant beforehand. Nonetheless, there was no room in the inn and so they perhaps stayed in a sort of barn.
Mary went into labor and when the baby was born they laid him in a manger. The circumstances for the life of Jesus are reminders that when he came he identified with the lowest of low. He was born into nothing and he would ultimately die a criminal’s death so that he could relate with every single person on the earth. No matter who you are, no matter your circumstance, God understands from personal experience the depth of human suffering, and he will take it completely upon himself so as to redeem it. What can you give over to God to redeem this season?
Earth is groaning we are longing
For Your kingdom to come
All creation and all of Heaven
Join their voices as one
God let Your kingdom come
May Your will be done
God let Your kingdom come
Hope is stirring joy arising
As we look to the day
When all injustice will bow
And every voice will cry out
Holy is Your name
Lift up your heads, all the weak and the poor
Lift up your hearts, all who suffer and mourn
Lift up your eyes, all who hunger for more
Lift up a shout let the earth hear your voice
his kingdom is yours