Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Come All Ye Faithful"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 2:11 – On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. (NIV)
Most of us know the Christmas story at least in part, if for no other reason that we see Mary, Joseph, and the Baby in a traditional place in many homes at this time of the year. Usually, not far from the manger scene are the wise men — or magi, as some may call them. Baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and His mother was Mary. Since she was in the inn's stable, with animals all around, Mary placed her newborn in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Right?
Well, let me tell you another story that I witnessed many years ago. The manger was placed in the centre of the stage in our sanctuary, made with crudely cut slats of wood and filled with fresh hay. The bewildered mother, Mary, fidgeted and patted, but she could not calm sweet baby Jesus. But in her wisdom, she got up and handed him to the wise man standing nearby. Knowing what to do, this wise man jiggled and consoled him for the next thirty minutes while the rest of the program went on at our church. You see, that wise man was Larry, my sweet husband, and this beautiful baby Jesus was none other than our grandson, Nicholas. This baby recognized the gentle touch and familiar rocking of one who loved him so much and knew what he needed. So, in wise man garb, the man for the job comforted the wiggly infant in love.
Sometimes, especially in these uncertain times, we are anxious and worried about what might happen next, whether it be with our job, our health, or our world as we have always known it. But now, the roles in my little story are reversed. It is not Jesus Who needs to be consoled or brought up to date. He is not confused or bewildered by the current circumstances that we find ourselves in today. He is not wracking His brain to develop plan B, nor does He need a wise man to consult with Him.
Our Nicholas is a grown man now, but like all of us, he still needs comfort when times are hard and we find ourselves waiting for "the other shoe to drop" in this uncertain world. It is we, God's children, who long for His touch. We find ourselves thirsty in a dry land, longing for relief that can come only from God's Son, Jesus Christ. Let's reach out to Him for His comfort and consolation in our own little town of Bethlehem.
Prayer: Precious Jesus, help us, this season, to look forward in time from the manger to You, O Lord, the all-powerful King of the universe. Holy God, with You, nothing is impossible, not even the problems that burden our hearts today! Warm our hearts by Your unfailing love. Amen.