Although many people read the account of Jesus’ birth each Christmas, how many slow down and truly reflect on the circumstances surrounding this marvelous and miraculous moment in history?
It is the moment that all creation had been waiting for with great anticipation. Prophets predicted it. Men and women of God prayed to see it. Still, the world was completely unprepared for how this moment would unfold.
Bethlehem was bustling with congestion and busyness created by the mandatory census issued by Caesar Augustus. Despite being very close to her delivery date, Mary and Joseph braved the long and tiring journey home to the City of David. Hospitality was a precious commodity under normal circumstances, but the crowds for the census had exceeded Bethlehem’s capacity. Into this hectic scene rode an expecting Mary, led by her betrothed, Joseph. With the fulfillment of prophetic promises coming in mere hours, the couple found no housing in their time of need. There was no room for them.
Mary and Joseph were alone in a foreign town, finding themselves in a precarious situation. They were surrounded by a town overcrowded with people who were too busy to make room for them.
It isn’t unlike today when we gather together to celebrate Christmas. Some of us return to the town of our family’s origin. Our streets are crowded. Markets are buzzing. Accommodations must be negotiated—where to stay, for how long, and with which relatives. In the midst of this chaos, do we make room?
Prayer: God, help me prepare my heart for You this Christmas season. In the midst of plans and celebrations, may my heart be set on You so that all my gatherings and preparations would honor and glorify Your name. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them” (Luke 2:6-7).
Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!