In Bethlehem, the only bed and breakfast was full. There wasn’t another Inn in town.
What was this couple to do? The inn’s host said, “There’s a barn outback.”
With no place to go, they needed shelter for the night. It was a short walk to the barn. The young couple found an empty stall and cleaned it as best they could.
Mary was with child, and her due date was near. Very near! Joseph and Mary had traveled from Nazareth. It was a 70-mile journey if they went through the forbidden Samaria to Bethlehem. They could have traveled over 100 miles if they took the familiar Jewish route of crossing the Jordan to travel on its East side. Whether Mary walked or rode, the journey was a difficult one.
No sooner had they settled down; her labor pains came. All alone in a distant town without a mention of help, Mary brought forth her first born son, Jesus. The One the angel, Gabriel, spoke of. Bible prophecy was being fulfilled right before their very eyes.
The only bed for God’s Son was a nearby feeding trough, a manger. They wrapped their first born child in cloth strips (swaddling clothes) for warmth. There was no baby shower, then. No new outfits or diapers to wear. Only used cloth for wrapping the Son of God.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were not alone for long. God was at work in a nearby pasture. Shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks that historic night. An Angel appeared to them and announced the Good News. The Savior, the Messiah, is born. You will find him in a manger in nearby Bethlehem. You know that it is Him because you will find him wrapped in swaddling clothes in the only stable in town.
The shepherds left their sheep to see the Great Shepherd, the baby Jesus. Can you imagine their eyes when they saw the Lord? The wonderment of such a holy site. The Messiah, the promised One, laying before them. Oh, what a Holy Night. Upon leaving this humble surrounding, they shared the good news wherever they went.
One more thought. Mary kept the following memories in her heart. The announcement about her upcoming pregnancy. The visit to her elderly cousin, Elizabeth, who was with child. Her future son grew up to become John the Baptist, the forerunner to Christ. Joseph marrying her when she was pregnant. The birth of Jesus in a barn and how the shepherds knew the Messiah was born.
Truly, everything was miraculous. Only God could arrange such events.
We have a wonderful Savior to serve.