“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod . . . “
—Matthew 2:1a NIV
The King of the world was born at a time when Israel was not even permitted to have its own ruler.
The golden age of the nation of Israel had passed, and they were now governed by a Roman-appointed and oppressive king, Herod the Great.
Not exactly what you would call the ideal time for the “king of the Jews” to be born.
And yet it was the moment that God chose.
Partly, I think, because he was not interested in establishing an earthly kingdom (see John 18:36), and also to teach us a lesson: God does not need a perfect environment to do extraordinary things.
The Imperfect Nativity teaches us to stop waiting for our life to be perfect and realize that here and now, Jesus is with us.
Carry this simple prayer with you today:
Breathe in: God of imperfect moments,
Breathe out: Do your perfect work in me.