"Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was govenor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.No doubt you've heard or read this passage in the last couple of days. And, if you've grown up in the church, you've probably heard it countless times. Too much, I fear, that we have lost the glorious simplicity and magnificence of its truth.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." - Luke 2:1-7
The birth of the Savior of the world - the great I AM coming in human flesh - is descibed so simply. Do you notice that Luke takes more time "setting the stage" than he does giving us details about the birth of the Messiah? Paraphrased, one might say: "Mary gave birth to Jesus, wrapped Him up in a blanket, and placed Him in a feeding trough."
It doesn't really make sense to us, does it? Jesus - God Himself becoming man - should not have been born outside, let alone in a cave. He shouldn't have been placed in a donkey's cereal bowl. Instead, He should have been born with pomp and circumstance with doctors attending and a party upon the announcement of His birth. After all, this is the long-awaited Messiah - the One promised since the fall of mankind. But, as once explained to me by Pastor Phil Haugen:
"God's way of doing this is different than man's way of doing things. If something is not big and splashy, dynamic and awesome, we have the idea that it's not very good. God's way is very different - He has a very strong tendancy to take that whcih is despised and insignificant in the eyes of man to accomplish His purpose."Merry Christmas, all. And may the wonderful simplicity and glorious significance of Christ's birth never grow old in our hearts.