“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
—Luke 2:7 ESV
Scholars are unsure if the “inn” mentioned in Luke 2:7 was a hotel or the guestroom of Mary and Joseph’s family in Bethlehem, but the message is clear: there was no room for them.
No comfortable bed for the Messiah to lie in; no clean floor to play on.
He was laid in a manger, a feeding trough for animals.
This also is part of the story of God-with-us: he showed up, and humanity had no room for him.
The Almighty God surely could have secured a kingly reception for his Son, and yet he chose to suffer the humiliation of rejection.
Perhaps to show us this truth: even when we don’t recognize or welcome him, in his mercy he chooses to make his home among us all the same.
This is Jesus, God-with-us, who died for his enemies and forgave those who crucified him (see Romans 5:10; Luke 23:34).
The Imperfect Nativity shows us the heart of God.
Here is a simple prayer to carry with you today:
Breathe in: Unwelcomed God,
Breathe out: Thank you for welcoming me.