In our own terms, the mother of Jesus would not have been following a doctor’s recommendations. She was travelling on a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlechem (meaning “house of bread), a distance of about 80 miles through Samaria. Once they get there, instead of a nice room and the help of a midwife, they got a barn. She gets through it somehow, and then wraps the newborn in a blanket she brought with her, and puts Him in a feeding trough (yes, that’s what a manger is).
We have only to read the rest of the account of Jesus’ life to realize that this was not just a story of humble beginnings on a road to fame and fortune. He chose a simple life – “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head”, He was known to say. He was a PR manager’s nightmare, offending key people that could have gotten Him favor among those with influence, like his cousin before Him who provoked Herod to the point of getting decapitated.
His message was, and still is – to some a precious gift, to others an insult: “God loves you as you are, and not as you should be – and He has proven it by giving the life of His Son for every one of you.” It divides us, and redeems those who know this essential truth: This isn’t just “good news for losers”, it’s the ONLY hope for the best and brightest who are tempted to think we have earned the attention, time and money of others. Jesus didn’t say “blessed are the poor in spirit” because this made it EASIER for them to come back to God – rather because becoming “poor in spirit” makes it POSSIBLE.
May you be blessed with the simplicity of Jesus’ amazing grace this Season.