The tiny village of Bethlehem was underprepared for the worldwide event. There was only one little motel.
Caesar had ordered everyone to report to the town of their birth for a census count. Like many small villages, Bethlehem had seen its young depart for work. Joseph was no longer a resident.
Before Caesar made his decree, God was already working long before Caesar ever thought about a census.
Years before, God had announced a forerunner of the Messiah. John the Baptist was going to prepare the way for the Messiah. This announcement came in the book of Malachi about 400 years before the birth of Christ. John’s birth was a miraculous event. His parents were old and well past the child producing age.
Then, an angel announced to Mary that she would have a child, but she wasn’t married. Thus, another miracle of conception when the Holy Spirit would overshadow her. This allowed Mary to be with child.
Joseph, Mary’s fiancé, was in an awkward place. What was he to do? Condemn Mary? Have her stoned for adultery or put her away privately? Joseph was praying for the Lord’s leadership. God told him to take Mary as his wife. Joseph was obedient to the Lord’s leading for her child was the Son of God.
His ability to do what was right brought them to Bethlehem with his expectant wife. Unfortunately, there were no more rooms available in the tiny inn; the barn was the only solution. It was there that Joseph became a surrogate dad. The Christ child was born and placed in a feeding trough with hay as a mattress.
Before this young couple knew, there was a knock on the barn door. Shepherds appeared. They were told in a nearby pasture by angels that Israel’s Messiah was born, and he was in Bethlehem’s barn. They came to see.
Kings, mayors, and wealthy merchants did not receive an invite, but ordinary everyday workers did.
It was there that our Lord received his first congregational worshippers. It is worth mentioning that Christ still receives the curious seekers. God is ready to work even when things don’t seem right.