Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Story: The Birth (Luke 2:1-7)

"The Road to Bethlehem" by
Joseph Brickey
 "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree...that all the world should be taxed."  Those words begin the second chapter in the Gospel of Luke.  Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to be counted in the census.  Bethlehem would have been a bustling city at this time because of the decree.  People were everywhere and there was very little room.  It is no wonder that when Mary and Joseph made it to the inn they found no room for them.  Instead they stayed in a stable with the animals.  We do not know how long they stayed, but we do know that "the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

"The Birth of Jesus" by
Carl Heinrich Bloch

There are two lessons from this part of the Christmas story I would like to "liken" to us.  The first is that of the innkeeper.  I am sure that the innkeeper in the Christmas story had no idea what he was doing.  He probably looked around him and said that there was no room because he had already sold out his place.  Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said, "Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus! ("Settle This in Your Hearts" Oct. 1992)" We have to decide whether or not we are going to save a place for Him, or if we are going to cram as many things of the world as we can.  This is a case of quality versus quantity; a case of good versus best.

The second point I would like to mention is this: life from the world's view is not fair.  As hard as that seems to accept, it's not.  Look at the Savior.  Here He is, the Son of God, Creator of the Universe, and Promised Messiah and He is born in a stable.  Not only that, but as the descendant of King David, Jesus' rightful throne is not His at this time.  We can argue that it is because of the Romans or the Jews, but either way what should be is not. 

From the world's point of view, the Savior's birth is truly unfair.  Take the eternal look however, and the Savior's birth comes into new light.  First of all, had His birth been in a crowded inn, how private or peaceful would this sacred event been?  I would say not very.  Had Jesus been born as the prince to the government, would He have suffered for our sins or been crucified on the cross?  I would suggest not likely.

So when your life seems like things are not fair, take a moment and view it from the eternities.  You never know what your future holds, but God does so trust Him to lead you in the right path.  Just spend your time daily trying to be better and doing what is right. 

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