The religious and political leaders who were in power at the time misread the
events of Jesus’ birth. When a woman is to have a baby, she goes to the best
hospital she and her husband can afford. They find the best doctors and highly
trained specialists. They get the best that money can buy. And they do this not
because they feel strong, but because they feel weak.
When God’s Son was born, He was born in a stable under very austere and
unsanitary conditions. It happened this way not because God was poor, but
because God was sure of himself.
The leaders misread the signs. The baby born in the stable is not a sign of a
weak and ineffectual king. But it is a sign of a majesty who is secure and
knows who he is. It is a sign of love. The leader of that time didn’t know
anything about that. And so they missed it.
From Illustrations Unlimited – James S. Hewett. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,
A small boy was bitterly disappointed at not being cast as Joseph in the school
Nativity play. He was given the minor role of the innkeeper instead, and
throughout the weeks or rehearsal he brooded on how he could avenge himself on
his successful rival.
Came the day of the performance. Joseph and Mary made their entrance and
knocked on the door of the inn. The innkeeper opened it a fraction and eyed
them coldly. “Can you give us board and lodging for the night?” pleaded Joseph,
who then stood back awaiting the expected rebuff.
But the innkeeper had not pondered all those weeks for nothing. He flung the
door wide, beamed genially and cried, “Come in, come in. You shall have the
best room in the hotel.”
There was a pause, then with great presence of mind, the youthful Joseph said
to Mary, “Hold on. I’ll take a look inside first.” He peered past the
innkeeper, shook his head firmly and announced, “I’m not taking my wife into a
place like that. Come on, Mary, we’ll sleep in the stable.”
The plot was back on course.
From 1001 Quotes, Illustrations and Humorous Stories for Preachers, Teachers,
and Writers. Edward K. Rowell and Leadership Journal. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI,
2005, Page 64.
Lynne Hybels, the wife of renowned pastor Bill
Hybels, tells of a touching scene she witnessed years ago. As a child she was
very intrigued with a man in a discount store who was struggling with the
purchase of a small and inexpensive figurine. His attire revealed much. He was
an older man whose children were no doubt grown. The lines in his face and the
worn clothes on his back told of a hard and bittersweet life. Yet everything
about this man communicated the intensity of his love for the recipient of that
gift. His gift would not compare with the countless other gifts purchased by
those whose incomes afforded much more. The wrapping would probably be less
than elaborate. It might be the only gift he could give her. But somehow his
gift seemed more significant than any other. Since that time Mrs. Hybels has
seen thirty years of Christmas shopping frenzies, but each year this anonymous
shopper is the one who tugs at her heart and moistens her eyes. She says,
“Sometimes the most beautiful love stories are etched on the faces of the lowly
and shared by the humble.” May such stories of intentional love define your
Christmas season this year! * Decision, Dec. 1992, p. 33
McHenry’s Quips, Quotes and Other Notes, HeavenWord Stories for Teachers and
Preachers, CD-ROM, Raleigh NC, 1999.