*During Advent, Pastor Cody is writing weekly advent readings for the Sunday worship gathering. Each reading will be posted for further reflection. Enjoy and share!

Advent Reading \\ Love

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
(Luke 2:1-7 ESV)

Jesus’ birth as told in this passage seems almost like an afterthought. The government-run census was the big news of the day. Late in the pregnancy his parents were out of town, and when he was born they didn’t have a place for him to sleep, so he ended up in the feeding trough.
Is this the same family that had been visited and instructed numerous times by angels? Are they the same couple who knew – even when others may have had their doubts – that Mary was a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit? Wouldn’t you think they would be more prepared, have more fanfare, and at the very least, have a place for him to sleep?
Compare Jesus’ birth to the most recent Royal baby in England. Imagine if the prince of England was born while his parents were on a government required trip and placed in an animal feeding trough for a bed. The royal family wouldn’t have it! Royal babies deserve royal births, royal beds, and royal care. What does it mean that the King of Kings was born in this way?
It means he came with a greater purpose than to be our earthly king. Jesus came with a goal greater than an earthly golden throne. His goal was the cross. We see God’s love for us displayed in the manger – that he was willing to be humbled so that we could be rescued.
This morning, let us remember the humble baby in the manger and the humble savior on the cross. Let us also look forward to the day when Jesus will return as the King of Kings, riding on a cloud, issuing in the Kingdom of Heaven and bringing everlasting peace, joy, and love to earth. In that day, we will truly say, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her king!”

Come Lord Jesus!