Luke 2:4-7 reads, “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Growing up, I often enjoyed the cartoon Peanuts, the one with Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and the gang. There is one particular episode where Snoopy is trying to visit his former owner in the hospital, but he can’t get in. The signs posted outside the hospital read, “NO DOGS ALLOWED!” As a boy, my insides would turn each time Snoopy attempted to get in the door. “Can’t they see what he is trying to do? What is wrong with these people?” I would shout at the television. The security guard kicked him out; the doctors and nurses threw him into the street; people visiting family members would toss him around; my heart would ache for poor Snoopy.
God came to earth in human form. There was a census and many people flooded to Bethlehem. In all the busyness of the event, Joseph and Mary found themselves with no where to go. All the rooms were taken and no one would open their home to allow Mary the comforts of giving birth in a house. But, do you think He was born in a stable because there was NO ROOM or was it His intentional selection? Is there a lesson even in His arrival?
The wonderful, beautiful, comfortable gifts in life are seen as God’s blessings in our minds, signs from above that God exists. We see God in butterflies, rainbows, $100.00 bills, angelic looking children; but, what about the ‘not so wonderful, beautiful, comfortable gifts’? What about circumstances when we are uncomfortable? What about times when we are ‘not allowed’ in a particular group? What about situations that are not beautiful? Is God’s existences any less?
Sometimes God’s gifts are not wrapped in the finest of packages. Sometimes God’s presence is in a stable, in a feed trough with smelly livestock.
In the cartoon, Snoopy eventually is allowed into the hospital. He dresses up like a human. Ironically, God had a similar plan for getting into our hearts: He came to earth in the form of a human to find access into our lives in order to save us from death.
Are you making room for Him today in your heart? Is He ALLOWED into your home? Your car? Your work place? Or have you posted a sign, “NO GOD ALLOWED”?
John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”