Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin Mother and Child, holy
Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Today’s “Reason for the Season” is focused on the moment that the Israelites longed for, for hundreds of years, the night that the savior of the world was born. The prophet Isaiah foretold of the coming of Jesus over 700 years beforehand…Isaiah 7:14 (NIV) says,
`”Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).”
“God is with us” and He sent Jesus to be that connector. Saint Athanasius said,
“He became what we are that He might make us what He is.”
Yesterday in the ★ Day 11 – Reason for the Season – Following Jesus Will Cost You ★ we discussed how perilous the journey to Bethlehem must have been for the pregnant Mary traveling over 100 miles on the back of a donkey. Something that has always astounded me is that after everything Mary and Joseph went through, when they arrived at Bethlehem it didn’t any easier. Luke 2:6-7 recalls the Birth of Jesus,
“And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”
Two simple verses in all of scripture that records the most incredible event in human history! Another classic Christmas song that I love is “Away in a Manger,” which is this lovely, soothing song but do you know what a manger really is? The Holman Christian Standard Bible translation gives us some insight…Mary “laid Him in a feeding trough.” Here is the definition of what God’s Son was placed in…
trough (trôf, trŏf) n.
1. A long, narrow, generally shallow receptacle for holding water or feed for animals.
The messiah was born in a stable, amongst animals and then placed in a “shallow receptacle for holding water or feed for animals.” Incredible…Definitely not the idyllic scene that so many paintings and movies depict! In Charles Stanley’s “Life Principles Bible,” he had this incredible commentary on Luke 2:7,
“Amazingly, God stepped into this world not as the reigning King with pomp and ceremony, but as the humble Child who was wrapped in simple swaddling clothes. Far from a royal crib, Jesus’ first resting place was a primitive feeding trough.”
In the movie “The Nativity Story” they showed Joseph frantically running from door-to-door because Mary was in labor, and it may have been that, or it may have been under calm conditions, but regardless at the end a 100 mile journey it must have been heartbreaking and quite frustrating to find that there was no suitable place for them to stay. Day 3 of the 121 Advent Bible Reading Plan said,
“As His followers, life will be difficult, but our hope is not at the mercy of our circumstances and our perspective is not limited to what is seen, but is wrapped up in the truth of the Gospel for all eternity. We have hope and can hope because it has been given to us in Christ.”
Life will be difficult…It was for Mary and Joseph, and it most definitely was for Jesus…But our hope is in the baby that was wrapped snugly in strips of cloth and laid in a manger over two thousand years ago. While I was reading John Piper’s “Good News of Great Joy | Daily Readings for Advent Devotional,” he addressed what I had always questioned about with the no vacancy signs throughout Bethlehem.
“Now you would think that if God so rules the world as to use an empire-wide census to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, He surely could have seen to it that a room was available in the inn.
Yes, he could have.
The question is not what God could do, but what He willed to do.
God’s will was that though Christ was rich, yet for your sake He became poor. The “No Vacancy” signs over all the motels in Bethlehem were for your sake. (See 2 Corinthians 8:9)”
The way Jesus came into this world was for our sake so that we would have a Savior that understands adversity and any hardship that we may ever experience…Jesus endured it all for our sakes!! I will close with this additional powerful point from John Piper’s devotional…
“God rules all things—even motel capacities—for the sake of his children. The Calvary road begins with a “No Vacancy” sign in Bethlehem and ends with the spitting and scoffing of the cross in Jerusalem.”
“Yes, God could have seen to it that Jesus have a room at his birth. But that would have been a detour off the Calvary road.”
Jesus’ life started in a “silent night, holy night,” but ended in agony and chaos all for our benefit!! Today I am thankful for that Holy Night that brought into being the hope of my salvation!
Here is my favorite version of “Oh Holy Night” sung Rebecca Pfortmiller…You will be blessed!
If you would like to see the next installment of our “25 Days of Thankfulness” series go here…★ Day 13 – Reason for the Season – The Nativity Revealed ★
Or you can start from the beginning by ★ Clicking Here ★