Last week we took our boys to a reenactment of the town of Bethlehem.
It was freezing cold as we walked through the town.
Animals were walking around. A fire was lit in the middle of the town.
Our hands and feet were freezing because it was cold outside. Near the end of our time in Bethlehem we went to the Inn. A shepherd said that word had come that maybe Jesus, the awaited Messiah was to be born this night.
As we walked out to the stable behind the inn, sure enough, a woman named Mary, her husband Joseph, and a real, live baby were in the stable.
The baby was screaming. The baby was freezing cold. The mom and dad were trying to comfort the cold baby. The newborn baby, he was so small. My first reaction was, "Why in the world do they have a real, live baby out in this freezing cold weather, that is awful." I felt sorry for that helpless baby who had no say in whether or not he wanted to be in the Christmas story that night. Could they not have gotten a pretend doll or something to hold?
Days later I was fixing me up some big Texas hair. Mid curling iron and hairspray it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Baby Jesus born in a manger was no pretend doll. It was sacrifice and love that brought him to earth in a cold manger that clear, wintry cold night. In the bleak midwinter.
Our Savior, Our Messiah, Our King of Kings, Our Prince of Peace, Our Wonderful Counselor was the real, live baby born over 2000 years ago. He was the freezing, crying newborn baby who left his warm, glorious home in Heaven to come and dwell with us.
God With Us.
One week until we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The greatest gift of all time.