When I read the nativity story yet again this Christmas season, I couldn’t help but land on the scene where a very pregnant Mary and Joseph came to an inn in Bethlehem after traveling 90 miles mostly by foot, some by donkey. They were probably tired and hungry with blisters on their feet, and she was going into labor and yet they could find no place to stay. No one had room for a young pregnant Mary to give birth. No one was compassionate enough to invite them in so Jesus would have a warm place to be welcomed into the world. It makes me contemplate, if we would make room for Christ when he comes to our hearts again?
Jesus came from a poor family. Joseph was a carpenter and Nazareth was just a tiny little hamlet, so small that they didn’t even have their own synagogue. No one would have paid them any mind. They probably didn’t have much in the way of money and what little they had they was used to pay for food and the stable where they would stay and where Jesus would be born. The world at that time cared little for the welfare of the poor and even less for the care of children. There was no mention of even a midwife to help Jesus into the world. There was no one there to welcome Christ except the multitude of the heavens, his parents, and some shepherds. Even the wise men had not made it there that night.
But there is one thing I can tell you for certain, the location of his birth mattered not. The people present mattered not. What mattered was that he was loved, as loved as any child welcomed into the world today surrounded by doctors and nurses. His parents looked at him counting his fingers and toes thinking that he was the most perfect little baby the world had ever seen. He came to a humble family who gave to him everything they had. They gave Jesus their love. Dietrich Bonheoffer wrote,
Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.
Jesus came to a humble family. His birth was announced to the most humble of society. God came into the world not as a warrior, not as a wealthy aristocrat, and not as someone with power. But he chose to come as a baby, a child, in a manger amongst animals, hay, and dirt. Our scriptures say, “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”. What courage and love his parents possessed.
We are promised each Christmas season that Christ will come again. And I believe that he is born a new in each one of us. He comes to us not in a blaze of fire. But rather to the individual, to the humble, to those who are in need of feeling his presence. To those who might not think themselves truly worthy enough. He comes to the common person, those of us who make mistakes, who make poor decisions. He comes to offer us healing, wholeness, new beginnings, and hope for tomorrow. He comes to bring comfort, joy, love, and peace. He comes like he did that first Christmas Eve so many years ago. He comes to us as a baby, a perfect little bundle of joy full of promise and hope.
This year when he comes a new to us, when we feel that knock on the door, will we find room for him in our hearts? Will we welcome Christ with joy and love? Or will we turn him away saying, “Sorry there’s no room in my life for you.”? This year let us welcome him in and let us celebrate his birth as it should have been the first time around. This time when he comes, welcome him into your lives, as imperfect as they may be, and allow him to heal you, creating wholeness and meaning in a way we never before imagined. Our challenge is to allow for Christ to change our lives this day.
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 20th Century.
 Luke 2: 7, RSV.