We’re reading the Christmas story together on the blog this week. Today it’s fitting that we’re going to hone in on the baby in the manger.
While time has added livestock and hay and a sweet momma in a blue dress, God’s Word doesn’t give us these details. Instead, here is the simple birth announcement of Jesus.
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:6–7).
Does your heart feel the same sense of letdown that mine does when I read those two verses? Something is missing. Mainly, the details! What did Jesus look like? Was there something different about Him? Did He cry like a regular baby? How was Mary? Where was Joseph? What color were those swaddling clothes anyway?
But the Bible doesn’t go there. We just get the facts—that Jesus was born, wrapped up by His momma, and placed in a manger because the inn was packed.
We tend to embellish the story at Christmas time, but maybe Luke kept it simple because he didn’t want us to miss the most important thing—that our Savior arrived on earth as a baby in a manger. Perhaps the details simply don’t matter.
So don’t worry about what was happening in the background. Feel free to ignore whoever was or was not present at Jesus’ birth. Lean in and look closely at Jesus, wrapped in human skin, and let the wonder of Him eclipse your craving for more information. Don’t let today whizz by without looking closely into the crib in the barn. Don’t forget to remember the spectacular event that happened without a spectacle.
- Is Jesus’ arrival meaningful to you this year?
- What is one thing you can do today to focus on Jesus’ birth?
- Why do you think Jesus’ birth is described so simply?