When I lived in Montana, I had an old barn on the property. It housed chickens and provided shelter for horses and goats. It was filled with bales of straw and had a rope swing hanging from the high beam. My daughters loved to play in that old barn. It probably wasn’t terribly sanitary despite the hours I spent shoveling out unsanitary things; animals being animals and doing what animals do. I would never have called it clean. Certainly not company ready clean. Certainly not clean enough for a baby to be born in, other than a colt. And definitely not clean enough for the Savior of the world to be born in.
That poor innkeeper, so many years ago, had no clue that on a certain night, his barn would be the birthing place of Jesus. Even if he had, could he have cleaned it enough?
The day that I asked Jesus into my heart, I hadn’t done any cleaning in the manger of my heart. It was dirty and even if I could have cleaned it, it would never have been clean enough for Jesus to be birthed there. But when I asked Him in, He came. He came into my mess and made no demands that I clean up first. He just came in and brought His peace and His love and He accepted me – mess and all and set up residence.
Isn’t that a wonder? God could have had Jesus born anywhere. The world, the universe was at His beck and call and He chose a place few of us would consider worthy of our presence, much less the presence of His beloved Son.
The beauty of Christmas is that Jesus came into the world to meet us where we are. And most of us, if we are honest, would admit that where He met us was far from clean, far from worthy and yet, when asked, He came in.
I hope you have an increased wonder of the Savior who came into our world to set up residence in our hearts this Christmas season!
pic credit: Diane Reid