“And so it was that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
There’d never been a Night like it before or since.
The townspeople were sleeping. The stars were twinkling overhead and occasionally a dog could be heard barking in the distance.
But, there in the crowded town of Bethlehem. . .nestled in the hill country of Judah. . . something happened that would change the course of history.
There’d be no fanfare. No dignitaries or newspaper reporters to welcome His arrival. No thronging mass of people straining against police barricades to catch a glimpse of this Heavenly Visitor.
In quiet splendor the Christ Child was born that Night.
And, as He breathed His first breath of earthly air and gazed upon the faces of His earthly mother and adoptive father, He began a Mission of salvation that continues unto this day—a Mission of changing lives as no one else ever has or will.
Though wrapped in human flesh, this One sent from Heaven—the “God-Man made flesh” (Jn. 1:14)—came to fulfill the Law’s demands and “free those who, for a lifetime, had lived in bondage to the fear of death” (Heb. 2:14-15).
Even so, on that “Night of all Nights” He was still a baby.
A helpless, crying, totally dependent little Baby.
And, even though she’d not understand it until some 33 ½ years later (after His Resurrection), that Night Mary held Eternity in her arms and “pondered all these things in her heart” (Lk. 2:19).
Think of it, Pilgrim:
Some 2,010+ years ago Heaven came down to earth. The One, Who “upholds all things by the Word of His Power” (Heb. 1:3b) invaded time and space to “tabernacle” among us (Jn. 1:14). And, from that moment on until now the world has never been the same.
Even though modern revisionists of history, who want no reference to His coming whatsoever and have even changed the markers from B.C. and A.D. to B.C.E. and C.E., the fact remains that His coming became the watershed Event of history. Even if rebellious atheists, agnostics and “enlightened” ones succeed in removing “One nation under God” from the pledge and “In God We Trust” from the currency, it still shall not change the fact that Jesus came and His coming has made an eternal difference in the lives of all who believe.
As this day draws to a close and the evening shadows gather, find a quiet place and meditate on what happened that Night. Peer up into the sky and quietly begin singing “O Holy Night” or “Silent Night.” Then see if the same wondrous Awe that attended His birth doesn’t also flood your soul, filling your heart with “good tidings of great Joy” (Lk. 2:10).
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated December 24, 2010