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 guest room available for them.
Caesar Augustus’ census decree created havoc throughout the Roman Empire. The roads were packed with travelers. Cities were packed with people. But there was one group who loved the registration for taxes: the innkeepers.
Every room in the little town was occupied. The only secluded place Joseph could find was a cave for keeping animals. God took away every advantage for his Son. Even his birth would demonstrate the humility of the Savior. Mary prepared for the coming of the Messiah in a manger. She made herself as comfortable as possible and tried to get some sleep. Jesus was on the way.
In our busy lives, it’s hard for some people to make room for Jesus. They keep him at a distance. The things of life fill their hearts with temporary satisfaction. But sooner or later temporal things fail to satisfy. The heart of the person who makes room for Jesus is filled, changed, and transformed.
Father, we are amazed at the sacrifice of Jesus from his birth in the stable to his death on the cross. Thank you for loving us so much that you would give your Son to die. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
For parents: use this story to share the message of Jesus with your children. In Living Grounded, a diagram on pages 202-205 will help you explain what it means to trust in Jesus. We’d love to hear your stories. Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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