Luke 2:1-7 (CEV)
The Birth of Jesus
2 About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books.2 These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed.4 So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David’s hometown, and Joseph went there because he was from David’s family.
5 Mary was engaged to Joseph and travelled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, 6 and while they were there, 7 she gave birth to her first-born son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn.
If you were thinking of the ideal place for God’s son to be born, where would you choose? A palace – we already know there were those who thought that! A place of wealth, with many attendants? At least somewhere clean and healthy away from danger surely?
But that was not how it worked out. Martha’s tale reminds us vividly of the mess and the filth that would have been his place. Oh and the smell! To me, it’s important that God chose to be born there. For that is real, gritty life. And that is what God is about.
Not for you Lord,
for your coming to birth.
Not the kind of place I would have chosen,
but a real place,
when I try and sanitise your message,
keep you clean,
set you apart.
Thank you that you come,
not to some ‘perfect’ construct
of my imagining,
but to reality.
That you are not a God
of the pristine and set apart,
but to where life is ,
– you are there.
Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent. Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page