Posts Tagged ‘birth of Jesus’

… is courtesy of today’s SU WordLive comments by Mark Keown.

no room at the inn

What would it look like if God came to redeem us? Luke gives his answer. He comes into a world seemingly controlled by mighty emperors like the supreme Caesar Augustus, ruler of the Roman Empire. Caesar commands and people obey. He has commanded all his people (about 100 million) to return to their home towns to be counted. He is not concerned about the inconvenience. What matters is that he knows his resources. So Joseph, a descendant of David, travels with the heavily pregnant Mary 150 kilometres south to David’s home town, Bethlehem. Looking back, we know that our sovereign God was working in the chaos, ensuring that the ancient prophecy would be fulfilled (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5,6).

Luke describes the birth of Jesus in scant terms. They arrive. There is no place for them in the katalyma. This is not an inn with an innkeeper but is ‘either some type of reception room in a private home or some type of public shelter.’1 Perhaps it is the home of a relative, already overrun with returnees. Into these humble circumstances, God’s Son is born in an animal shelter, either on the lower floor or in an adjoining stable or cave. While the situation is unhygienic, Jesus is welcomed with love, clothed and laid in an animal’s feeding trough.

So, when God comes what does it look like? God’s coming is unspectacular, contrary to expectations. It is humble, inconspicuous and unseen by the powers of the world. While emperors shout out commands to their subjects, God comes in obscurity. He is born in a small town among animals. That is our God. It is his pattern to plant seeds that slowly transform; to bring transformation through people who were once babes. He could come with might to smite, but rather comes with love to woo. Whatever the mess, God is at work and he is in control (Romans 8:28).

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