December 29, 2019
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. LUKE 2:7
With Christmas past, many are trying to recover from days of rush, frustration, indigestion, and industrial-strength irritation. Jesus seems to be forgotten and left standing behind the door. No wonder a little girl was heard to pray, “Forgive us our Christmases.” If the world has little room for Jesus even on Christmas, what about the rest of the year? That incident in Bethlehem foreshadowed the lifetime rejection that heaven’s King would receive.
Not only was He born in a stable, but He was crucified outside the city walls between two thieves and buried in a borrowed tomb. Indeed, He was despised and rejected by men (Isaiah 53:3). What caused this blunder at Bethlehem so long ago? Could it have been ignorance? With a more receptive heart, the innkeeper might have known.
Mary and Joseph knew. The shepherds and the wise men knew. God reveals Himself to those who really want to know. Could it have been indifference? Mary was “great with child.” Couldn’t the innkeeper have given his own room to her? Could it have been involvement? Maybe the innkeeper was just too busy making money. The inn was filled with guests, and his pockets were filled with money. The spirit of King Midas may have caused him to miss heaven’s King. I wonder if it might have been different if Mary and Joseph had held up a purse of gold!
Ignorance, indifference, involvement—these are still the Christmas killers. Yet the Christ of Christmas brings ennobling life to those who still seek Him. If you want to find Him, don’t ask the crowd where He is. You will find Him where you will always find Him—despised and rejected of men. He will be on the outside of the stable, not on the inside with the crowd. “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come” (Hebrews 13:12–14).
When you find Him, you will discover the enduring glory of Christmas. His presence will transform the barn into a palace, and the manger will become a throne.
Find today’s news stories and divide them among family members and see how the Christmas season has room for everything but Jesus. Let the family members consider what it means to bear His shame and share His glory.
Take advantage of the related activities and resources at ExperienceChristmas.org.
• Streaming Christmas music
• Planning calendar & activities
• A resource for each day to dive deeper into the topic
• A video Christmas card
• Easy access to purchase the book, A Family Christmas Treasury