God Brings His Gift of Jesus

December 24, 2021

Pastor John Hering

Luke 2:6-7

Luke 2:6-7

And so it was that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

It must have taken a long time for Joseph to make a cradle for the child Mary was about to have.  You can well imagine the smell of fresh cut wood in his house as he shaved the beams of wood into boards to make the cradle. This would be a safe, secure place provided by a father with a keen sense of protection for Mary and the baby.  Mary would have appreciated the support and love she was receiving from Joseph for herself, and for the baby she was carrying in her womb.  Do you wonder how health conscience pregnant women were back then—you know eating right, sleeping enough, and resting when needed.  And most of all nesting in her new home with Joseph preparing for this safe delivery in a welcoming environment.

Then came the knock at the door.  The soldiers walked through the streets announcing, “Everyone must go to their hometown to register for the census.”  Since they were of the family of King David, they had to leave their home and travel to Bethlehem.  But, it had to be this way.  God used the census of the Caesar Augustus to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem so that he could fulfill the holy Scriptures.  There, in Bethlehem

God Brings His Gift of Jesus

When it Seems There Is No Room

You wonder how many people were traveling on the roads us Judea.  There must have been plenty of families on the move toward Bethlehem for this becomes obvious when you see the people standing in line at the inn hoping to find a place to stay.  Joseph put his cradle up on the shelf, packed some belonging and headed to Bethlehem.  But, there was no room for them in the inn.  Maybe this was Mary and Joseph’s first little panic attack.  “I knew we should have left sooner!” said Joseph.  “Mary apologized, “I’m sorry we had to travel so slowly.”  Perhaps they both wondered, “Why, Lord?  What’s going to happen now?”  We wouldn’t blame them for wondering, after all, the angel Gabriel sent from God announced this amazing birth of Jesus.  Certainly if the Lord went to the trouble of making such a big thing about announcing it, he would provide for them when It Seemed There Was No Room.  What the Lord did provide was an innkeeper with a compassionate heart.  He let Mary and Joseph stay out in the barn with the animals.  At least it was some shelter as the contractions became stronger and more frequent.  There was no room for arguing—they needed a place to have this baby!

Now, there are no hints of Mary and Joseph doubting God’s protection all along the way, but if they were just a little bit like us, don’t you think they had their moments of doubting?  You remember a couple years ago when you had some great plans laid out for your future and then Covid hit.   It sure didn’t Seem Like There Was Any Room for planning our future when the pandemic ruined the plans of so many people!  Or the friendship you hoped for developed into an experience you will never have again.  It sure didn’t Seem Like There Was any Room for that friendship to go sour!  What about that family you planned to be around, the saving account you expected to be building, or the weight loss program that just keeps getting heavier, it Sure Didn’t Seem Like There Was any Room for conditions to destroy those plans!  “Why Lord?  Don’t you see how risky and dangerous it is for my perfect plans to be shred apart and thrown away?” What’s going to happen now?” 

 “ And so it was that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Mary and Joseph finished wrapping up the newborn Jesus and placed him into the manger. Can you see Joseph behind Mary with his hands on her shoulders as they gazed into the manger and tried to marvel in their minds all that had just happened, and all that was going to happen because of this special child called, “Immanuel” that is “God with us.”  Somehow it just didn’t seem right.  It must have Seemed There Was No Room for putting the King of Kings and Lord of Lords into a feeding trough in a stinky stable like this.

Before Mary and Joseph could take in all that had just happened they were startled by a shepherd boy who stuck his head into the stable. “Uh, Sir, Uh, Excuse me. Is there a baby in there?”  Can you see this shepherd boy—shabby clothes, sweaty from working with the sheep, and such a strange question.  Can you see Mary give Joseph “that look” of concern as Joseph moved toward the door and hear outside, “Hey guys!  We found him.  He’s over here!”  Joseph could make out the shadow of several people hurrying his way as he grabbed the handle of his wooden staff like a bodyguard at the door.  “Who are you?  What do you want?”  They answered, “A sky full of angels told us about his birth, so 15 When the angels went away from [us] into heaven, [we] said to one another, “Now let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So [we] hurried off [to find you], and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  Angel?  Don’t you wonder what Mary and Joseph thought?  For they had just seen the angel Gabriel, too.  “What did those angels tell you?” inquired Joseph.  The shepherds said, Do not be afraid. For behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people: 11 Today in the town of David, a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.  There was No More Room For Doubt – God With Us Brings us the Gift of Jesus!  Joseph stepped aside to Make Room For Them To See the Baby Jesus.  And guess what?

God Makes Room For You

Joseph—the one who was a carpenter and builder of a cradle—must have marveled that the Lord God would Bring His Gift of Jesus through a manger.  But, it had to be this way for the Shepherd to find this special sign in order to find the Savior.  Can you see Joseph chuckling and shaking his head as he followed the shepherds to the side of the manger.  His carefully cradle back home was his gift to provide safety and love for Jesus, but the Lord God Brought his Gift of Jesus into the world place in a manger to Make Room For Everybody.  God’s love makes room for the low class like the shepherd, the village class like Mary and Joseph.  What a glimpse of the bigger plans God has in store for Jesus to Make Room For All.  Can you see Joseph squeezing Mary’s hand and whispering, “There is no better place to have the Christ-child than right here, in Bethlehem, in this stable, with Jesus lying in a manger.”

It is a great wonder for us to consider that God With Us Bring Us Jesus.  He is our Lord and Savior.  That is the big story here.  But, stop to think of all the little stories that had to take place perfectly in order for God to work out his plan to send his Son—even down to the manger, the angels and the shepherds.  On this holy night see in the manger God Making Room For You to plainly see his love for you.

Yes, tonight we smell the hay, the animals, the stable and see Jesus born in lowly and humble circumstances.  But, you also see the glory of God at work.  You see the God of the Universe taking on human flesh for you and for me.  We sing, “God is so great!”  True enough.  But we also sing, “God is so little!”  He takes on human flesh to offer himself as the perfect payment for all our sins.  Jesus came to die for us on the cross to earn the perfect holiness we need to be in heaven some day.  God With Us Brings Jesus your Savior.  But, before he goes to the cross he is born in a manger.  See yourself kneeling beside that manger with Mary and Joseph and the shepherds.  Praise and thank God, for there are plenty of time when it Seems There Is No Room for our plans to fall apart and they do.  Then, kneel beside the manger where God Brought His Gift of Jesus and has made plenty of room for you.  Amen.

Recent Sermons

You-Are-Loved

Grace Inspires Amazing Love

Shepherd-Holding-Staff

Your Shepherd Has Made Peace for You!

Protecting-Lambs

Trust the Easter Gifts of the Good Shepherd