All the prophecies converged in one moment, for “the fullness of the time had come.” (Gal. 4:4 NKJV) So, a young, pregnant girl named Mary and her espoused, young man named Joseph left their home in Nazareth to travel to the homeland of their forefathers in Bethlehem that they might be enrolled according to their families for taxation.
Once in Bethlehem, they searched diligently for a place to rest as the baby was about to be born. In their search, they could only find an animal shelter, because there was no room for them in the inn.
As a hush descended over the earth in the wee hours of darkness, the cries of a newborn pierced the gentle silence. Meanwhile, wondrous songs of praise, offered by a host of angels, saturated the skies over the fields tended by shepherds, filling the night air with the glory of God.
During those dark hours, Christ came to earth.
In that humble stable, to the gentle lowing of the cattle and the bleating of the sheep, Mary gave birth to the Savior of the world. Swaddling Him lovingly, she placed Him in a wooden trough, and there, the miracle of the manger took place.
The empty manger, the vessel cradling the tiny body of mankind’s salvation, became full – full of love, full of expectation, full of holiness, and full of humanity. It was an earthly visitation of the heavenly realm.
A divinely-appointed star blazed triumphantly in the eastern sky, proclaiming, “This is the way to the Christ-child.” Its brilliance appeared even in the distant land of the Orient. Men, wise in astrology and the prophecies, set out from this land to seek the One upon Whom the star shone, the newborn King.
In time, the star led the wise men right to the King’s front door. They came in expectation and great joy. “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matt. 2:11 NKJV)
When the wise men came to Bethlehem, they came bearing gifts, first out of their hearts’ fullness, for they fell down to worship the Christ-child, and then, out of their treasure bags’ fullness of precious things, they offered gifts of sacrifice.
~~Please join me next time for the continuation of this post on Friday.~~