She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.
The travel had been tiring. It was time for rest, especially for an expectant mother. Surely they could find a place to stay in Bethlehem.
The innkeeper had nothing to offer except a small stable where the animals bedded. Joseph took what he could get. At least it would be a roof over their heads; a covering from the elements. He and his wife Mary settled in for the evening.
Suddenly Mary announced to Joseph that the time had come. The baby was on its way. There in that stable, surrounded by God’s creatures, the Son of God entered the world. His first cradle was an animal feeding trough. In an obscure and humble setting, the King of Glory came to earth.
The circumstances of Jesus’ birth foreshadowed a theme that continued through His ministry. It revealed a tremendous character trait in our Lord—the spirit of humility. Pride is the tendency of humanity.
Pride promotes one’s own interests, even if it hurts others. Pride seeks promotion, at the expense of principles and people. Pride demands attention and accolades. Pride strives for position, power and prestige. Pride is always right and has to have the last word. Pride shows off possessions and relishes superiority. Pride seeks to be served.
Jesus’ spirit was so different. When He was placed in the manger it was a statement that, although He had the right to claim privilege, His choice was the low path of humility.
What word describes your personality, pride or humility? Do you look for the suite or the stable, the place of majesty or the manger?
Lord, as we reflect on your humble birth, forgive us for the pride that permeates so much of our lives. We want to follow your example of humility and selflessness. Help us die to ourselves and live for you. Let us choose the path you chose. Thank you, Jesus, for the reminder of the manger. In your name, Amen.