Every morning (and every evening) I go over to the barn to feed our horse, Jazz. Today is an especially dreary, gray, damp day. No sunshine, so the barn was dark and full of shadows. I threw open the barn doors to let Jazz out into the pasture, at least for a little while before the rain comes. Then I went and did the usual mucking of the stall. Now, I don’t know if you know anything about horses, but they can make a real mess. Even with pine shavings on the floor of the stall to um……help absorb, it is still a smelly mess to clean up every day. It’s not her fault, she just does what animals do…..and I just do what I do, clean it up.
Today, on this Christmas Eve, I stood in the middle of the horse stall and took it all in. I looked at my boots, filthy, and smelling of horse manure, soggy pine shavings, Jazz’s water bucket that I needed to refill, and the rough wooden walls of her stall. As I shoveled, the thought occurred to me of that Christmas so long ago. A baby born into this world, in a place not so unlike what I was standing in right now.
Tears slid down my cheeks as I went about my chores. Tears of joy, tears of awe. Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, left the glories of Heaven to enter time and space, in the most humble of surroundings. The celebration of Christ’ birth, is just the beginning of the story. The whole story, His life and journey to the cross, is overwhelming when you allow yourself to be reminded of it in a personal way. Jesus could have come in all His majesty, but instead God chose for Him to come to this world as an infant. God in human flesh.
The miracle of Jesus’ birth, the necessity of His death……all comes together in God’s love story.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11 NIV
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.… John 3:16-17