The manger…

While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough. (Luke 2:6-7 NCV)

2,000 years ago, Jesus was born into a world of uncertainty. His parents had travelled far under Roman orders to a town not their own in order to be counted for a census. Jesus was born in this far away town in a cave where animals were kept. The town was overcrowded with travellers and there was nowhere else to stay. Jesus’ first crib was a feeding trough. Within two years after Jesus’ birth, the king of the area had every infant boy under age two killed in an attempt to kill Jesus. Prophecy said Jesus would be the next king. The current king wanted no competition. Fortunately, Jesus’ parents fled with him to Egypt before the massacre. After that king died, Jesus’ parents returned and settled in a town called Nazareth. There Jesus grew up to be a carpenter. When he started his ministry, people were looking for a Messiah to overthrow the Romans. No one likes to live under oppression or terror. No one likes to live with the uncertainty of what will happen to them or their family on a day to day basis. Yet Jesus taught that we should look within instead of without for the change we want to see. He was not about overturning the Romans, but overturning the heart. He taught us to look to God for the solutions, and not to ourselves. “Love your enemy…” how does one do that?

Our time is not that much different from the time when Jesus lived. We still live in a world of uncertainty. We should remember, though, that God is looking out for us. He will provide–even if it is a cave of animals in a strange town. Even if it means that baby’s first crib is a feeding trough.

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