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Luke 2 v 1 - 7

We come to what are the core verses for our modern-day interpretation of the Nativity. But we notice that there is no record of a kindly innkeeper or animals surrounding the Christ-babe. It was quite likely to have been a cave wherein Mary gave birth, as that was a fairly common habitation for the people of Bethlehem.

Periodical censuses were taken by the Roman Empire to assess tax and discovering those who were liable for compulsory military service. It is likely that Jesus was born in 8 BC, because it is known that there was a census in AD 20 and they were taken every fourteen years.

The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem was huge, some eighty miles, and Mary was heavily pregnant. When they arrived the town was full to bursting as many others had to make the same journey, this being the ancient home of David. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, Jesus was born, already discovering that the world had little room for Him and that generally it was so busy that hardly anyone would stop and listen to Him.

We are coming up to Christmas time and 2020 will be for the great majority of us the most unusual one we have encountered in our lives. It won't be the same as normal, but it may give us the opportunity to have a bit of quiet and to use it pondering why Jesus Christ was born into this world. If He had to come, then why not as a fully-grown princely figure? Would He not have had far more influence if He had at least grown up in a royal court, as Moses had done? No, the commitment of Jesus to be vulnerable, open to misunderstanding and abuse, to experience the lives of the common Jew, to grow up with God's chosen people living everyday, oppressed lives under the twin yokes of the Roman Empire and the harsh diktats of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

God chose to be truly one with us!


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