“And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 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 2:3-7 (ESV)
Remember a time when you were stuck in traffic forever. Maybe someone had a car wreck, stalled vehicle, or just a backup of traffic. It takes you an hour to drive one mile. The “road rage” epidemic can easily ensue. Frustration takes over, and we overlook that single mom’s old car that ran out of gas or the injured people in the wreck. Our busy schedules just don’t have time.
Bethlehem would have been bursting at the seams. Joseph and Mary had traveled from Nazareth all the way to Bethlehem. It would have seemed like the whole country showed up in Bethlehem. Every place to stay was already booked. People came from everywhere to register for the census. In the midst of the busyness of Bethlehem, there was a man and woman with child who needed a place to stay. Yet, there was no room for them. As the night wrapped around them in silence, one single voice rang out. The sound of a Savior in the form of a baby was born. Bethlehem had become so busy that they couldn’t even hear it. In the same way, it is easy to silence the voice of the season. We get busy buying gifts for everyone on our list. We check it twice and try to imitate Santa on Christmas Eve. When asked about the meaning of Christmas, we nod our heads and say that it’s all about Jesus. But, is it? Is the Jesus of Christmas crying out to you at night when all is calm and still? He is whispering to our hearts, “Christmas is about hope, freedom, and life. It’s about being saved from the desperate state of sin and despair.” So, slow down, buy one less present, and make time to hear Jesus in Christmas.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.