Mary and Joseph, weary and tired,
Traveled to Bethlehem town.
They found the inn but it was packed
With travelers from all around.
The only place that they could find
Was in a stable where animals slept.
There Mary and Joseph settled in
And tried to get some rest.
Read this account for yourself in Luke 2:7
I never realized until the past couple of weeks that the innkeeper was never mentioned in the Bible story, only the fact that there was no room in the inn. It may be a reasonable conclusion that the innkeeper told them the inn was full. But would that imply that there was any connection between the innkeeper and the stable? Mary and Joseph may well have found the stable where they spent the night in much the same way as a homeless person might find shelter under a bridge.
It is quite possible that the stable was a cave and the manger a boulder with the top scooped out enough to hold the hay the cattle ate. Their living quarters for the night probably stunk, and one has to wonder how Mary and Joseph found a place to lie down.
We might wonder why Jesus was born into such poverty. But one thing we can understand from his lowly birth is that he wasn’t given preferential treatment in any way. Another lesson we may learn from this is that any person can serve Christ, no matter their position in society.
It seems worth mentioning as well that this kind of lodging is not what a man-made religion or theology would dream up for a king. Only a God who is capable of thinking outside the human “box” of a mind set would come up with a birthplace like this for the King of Kings.
This devotional message corresponds to the eighth mini-story in The First Christmas by Janice D. Green. The First Christmas is available here.