Unexpected Christmas



“6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 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 2:6-7 (NKJV)

Do you believe in coincidence? That things just happen for no apparent reason?

I don’t! I believe everything happens within God’s providence. But I will also be the first to admit that sometimes His working is so outside of my expectation, that it looks random to me.

In this passage, we see that the days were “completed” for Mary to be delivered. If you have ever borne a child you know that it is not easily predicted when a child will arrive. But Jesus was different. His birth was prophesied through hundreds of years. It had been foretold that he would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2).

With that much notice, how did God run out of time to plan a place for His only begotten Son to be born? How had the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords come to lie in a crude trough?

Clearly, God did not run out of time. So what? God ordained that His Son would be relegated to a stall for His birth? Obviously the answer is a resounding yes!

Sometimes, when I read this passage I am a bit disappointed. As a mother, I can only imagine how poor Mary felt. She had endured the speculation about her purity. Surely a surprise pregnancy was hard enough without having to travel a long distance by donkey. I am sure she was eager to get into a comfortable bed. Put her swollen ankles up. Eat a meal not covered by trail dust…

But that is not the accommodations the Lord had made for her. What are the implications for my life if this is how it went for Christ? Then, I realize that the situations of this life could not stop the Promise of God from coming true! In fact, the situations herded this young family toward their destiny. Jesus, Messiah, must be born in Bethlehem.

And even in this inauspicious environment, the supernatural was not limited. Still she brought forth the immaculate child. Still angels attended the birth and announced his arrival to lowly shepherds. Shepherds who would be more at home in a stable than in an inn!

The will of God cannot be thwarted by life’s circumstances. Father God can work with any situation to bring His good will to pass. And in that, lies so much hope for us- people living in a crude and imperfect world. Downtrodden by life, and so in need of a Savior!

My mother tells me of a Christmas when we were small that finances were sparse. Her mother’s heart broke at the lack. It is funny that I do not even remember that Christmas. I always look back at my childhood Christmases and remember it as a precious time full of love, family and presents.

Are you walking in circumstances beneath your expectation? Look around! You will find God there with you, still working to bring His will to pass in your life!

Dear Lord, thank you. Thank you for lowering yourself to come as a man, to live an ordinary (but supernatural!) life; a life of sacrifice, that we may live a life of hope in the present, and in unparalleled glory in eternity! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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