2 This was the first enrolment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And all went to enrol themselves, every one to his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David;
5 to enrol himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child.
6 And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7, ASV)
I remember it like it was yesterday. Caesar Augustus had come up with the bright idea that a census should be taken of the whole Roman Empire, in order to more effectively tax the stew out of all of us.
It especially hurt small businessmen like me. You see, I’m nothing but a lowly innkeeper, barely keeping my head above water, working 16 hour days. Oy! I could continue to gripe, but who would listen?
Anyway, like I said, Caesar decreed that everyone should get themselves registered for the Census. In terms of business, that actually turned out to be a good thing.
I was about to lock up for the night, when a young man and woman came to the door. He was a strong, rugged-looking young man. I think he was a carpenter. She was a beautiful, pregnant little thing. Bless her heart, she looked like she would deliver at any moment. Their names were Joseph and Mary.
My inn was packed, for once, and I had no rooms available. But, some part of my heart told me that I just couldn’t send them away, so I offered them my stable, which would at least offer some protection from the elements.
What happened that night was wondrous. Men are still talking about it to this day. A precious little baby boy was born that night and the most miraculous things happened. People said that animals actually spoke! And the local shepherds said that angels came to them and told them about this baby. They sang His praises and told the shepherds that they needed to come to my stable to see and worship that little baby.
Three wise men, sent by Herod, showed up later, bearing gifts for that special infant. They were overcome by that little one and decided that they would not report back to Herod, but, instead, would return to their homes.
It was quite a remarkable time. As the years went by, I heard stories about that child. They named Him Jesus. He grew in knowledge and stature. At 12, his parents lost Him. They found Him in the synagogue, teaching the old men that should have been teaching Him! Can you imagine?
He grew up working beside His father in his carpentry business and when He was 30, I heard that He was baptized by that wild man, John The Baptist. According to witnesses the heavens parted, and they heard the voice of God saying:
This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.
For three years, He traveled with a group of twelve disciples, performing miracles, preaching and teaching about God’s love and His plan for mankind.
And, now I’ve heard that just yesterday, they nailed Him to a cross, executing Him as they would a common criminal.
So sad. But, you know, there is a still, small voice inside of me that’s telling me that His story is not over, yet.
I truly hope that you enjoyed this post today. I originally wrote the preceding story 1 year ago today in honor of this special night.
Tonight, we celebrate the birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ. In closing, I want to share two videos with you. The first is a video entitled, “That’s my King!”, as read by Dr. S.M. Lockridge. The second video is a song that I’ve had the privilege of performing many times. Written by Gaither Vocal Band member Mark Lowry and musician Buddy Greene, it has become a favorite of Believers everywhere.
Merry Christmas to you and yours! And may God bless us, everyone!