“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger…” – Luke 2:7
“And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:16
“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them…” – Matthew 19:14
#11 – God makes Himself Approachable
When we look at the details of the Christmas story it is easy to see it as God making the best out of a bad situation. For example, the situation of there being no room at the Inn puts Mary and Joseph in a stable where they are forced to “make do” with a manger and swaddling cloths. But, what if I told you that I believe that the “No Occupancy” sign at the Inn, as well as, the stable and manger were part of the plan from the beginning?
Christmas reveals to us that God makes Himself approachable. Our world is good at building barriers and creating boundaries. We are so good at it that it is one of the first things we look for in a situation. We ask questions like, “Am I allowed in there?” “Can I go in there dressed like this?” Our society is filled with social dos and don’ts, restrictions and limitations. But, this is not the way of our loving Father. The “down to earth” details of Christmas show us that God makes Himself available on the lowest level.
Jesus was born in a stable not a palace. He was wrapped in rags not a satin blanket. When the shepherds showed up that night they didn’t stop at the door and wonder if they would be allowed to enter. It’s a stable! Not only are the shepherds welcome, they fit right in.
You see, through Jesus, God revealed Himself to the world on the bottom shelf where children could reach and beggars were welcome. Even lepers (Luke 17) and the blind (Luke 18) felt that they could approach the Savior. Many were shocked at the accessibility of Jesus during His ministry and His lack of discretion;
“And the Pharisees and their Scribes grumbled at His disciples saying, ‘Why do you eat with tax collectors and sinners?” – Luke 5:30
God makes Himself approachable.
At Christmas, God showed up in a stable. Anyone can come to a stable, even a dirty shepherd. If there had been a room in the Inn there would have been some restrictions…a limit on who could get in for a visit. Do you see why I believe it was planned this way? We have a God who proclaims that anyone can come! All are welcome! “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters…” (Isaiah 55:1). “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Joel 2:32).
Jesus came to us on our level. He walked among us. He was available and easy to talk to. People felt that they could approach Him and that He would listen to them. God makes Himself approachable. So, come to the manger! Come and see the Savior! All are welcome here.