I can’t imagine that the stable in Bethlehem where Jesus was born was a delight to the senses. There was likely no snowfall and surely no glittering lights or scented bayberry candles. No fragrant greenery or steaming hot chocolate or the cozy warmth of a fireplace.
Instead, our Lord was born in what likely was a smelly, uncomfortable place. If the traditional nativity scene is accurate, he may have entered this life on a pile of prickly hay and spent his first days listening to the sounds of livestock.
If taken literally, the first Christmas was not a warm and fuzzy story. The best part to me is that the child who would become our Savior and King made his debut in the most humble and ordinary of places. His beginnings set the tone for his life and ministry.
An earthly newborn king would have been wrapped in rich cloths and slept in a soft cradle. Noblemen would have come to pay homage to the royal heir and the child would have grown up in comfort and splendor.
Not so for our God who became flesh. What exquisite, quiet, unassuming love he shows in all that he is and does.
I guess the lesson could be that we remember the forgotten, the poor, the disabled, the sick, the homeless. Because these are the ones Jesus embraced and lived alongside.
PS: I wish I could have been in the fields the night the angels sang out that the Christ child was born. I wish I could have seen that enormous star in the sky, guiding the faithful to that lowly stable. What sights they must have been!