While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her first born son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7
Here we are, ready to celebrate Jesus's birthday. Hopefully, this day will be filled with Christmas joy instead of holiday stress. Of course, stress may have been a part of what Mary and Joseph were feeling - giving birth to their first child far from home.
Luke tells us that hope appeared with Jesus's birth despite all the uncertainty. His birth changed everything for us. Jesus changed our relationship to God, and He models for us what it means to live as God's people.
Theologians and historians debate the date and circumstances of Jesus's birth, and these are important scholarly debates. But today, do the details really matter? Is it that important whether Jesus was born on December 25th? Does it matter if Jesus was born in a bed instead of a stable? What is important - what really matters - is how we live our lives in light of that birth.
Joy to the World, the Lord is come!