Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15
The Thanksgiving Holiday may have come and gone, but there is still much to be thankful for as we enter the Season of Advent. Advent is a time of anticipation and wonder, looking forward to the coming of the Christ-child to the world. When any child is born there is a time of anticipation and excitement as the family and friends celebrate and plan. The family also in the pondering of those months the family expresses concerns about the child and its health, learning to be parents, and hope for what and who this child will become.
There was another set of parents in first century. They had an unexpected, scandalous circumstances surrounding the birth of the child. When it was close to time for the child to be born there was also a census required. In those days heads of household were required to go back to the town of their birth to register for the census. The very pregnant mother-to-be climbed on a donkey and set off with her husband for his ancestral homeland.
The young newlyweds were well into their journey and it became time for the child to be born. There were so many visitors traveling the roads to their homelands, and options for lodging were limited in fact there were no vacancies at the local inn. The innkeeper had a barn out back and it provided them a place out of the night air, and the elements. Of all the hopes they and we may have for our children, being born in a stable is not likely the top of many lists. How would their other hopes for this child go? God’s plans are beyond our expectations.
In that place the Son was born among the animals also trying to find shelter for the night. The animals would be the first witnesses to the birth, but not the last for shepherds who were keeping watch over their flocks by night had received a special birth announcement and had come to see what God was doing. There were also others who had been looking for the birth of this child, wise men traveling a great distance to honor the young king.
At times these parents must have wondered if they were making the right decisions while being ridiculed by many around them. The parents were thinking it was just themselves, the animals, and God who know they were there in the stable. God shows hope by sending shepherds and wise men into this tender time. God gave the greatest gift of all time in giving that Son, His Son to the world. Jesus was born in humble, but not unnoticed circumstances.
Do you look expectantly for this child? Where is your hope? Joy? Do you feel like God is not taking notice of your circumstances? Hold on and hold out for hope. God is doing wonderful, great, and unexpected things through His greatest gift, His Son. Every day is Thanksgiving Day, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”