Mary and I love it when our kids from Alabama are able to take a break from their job responsibilities and come to Texas. During one of these holiday visits, Eli, our young grandson, arrived with a tough respiratory infection. So on the couch, I watched as my daughter got a breathing apparatus all set up, and then wrapped Eli tight so that he could not move his arms as she tenderly held him in her lap. When she put the mask over his nostrils, I saw why she had so carefully swaddled him. This kept his arms and hands from ripping off the mask during the treatment.
Jesus had just been born when Mary, his mother, carefully wrapped him in strips of linen to make sure all of his limps were straight. Then she placed him down in an animal trough. There’s actually no rejecting innkeeper in the story who refused to provide a room. There probably wasn’t even an inn, so all the Marriott and Holiday Inns can breathe easier. They are not presented as playing the bad guys in the Christmas story. Luke could not have presented the birth of God’s Son in more straightforward terms and he stressed that, like Jenae, Mary wrapped him uptight.
“Now it happened while they were in Bethlehem, the days of her expectancy were completed. She gave birth to her son, the firstborn. She wrapped him up and laid him down in a feeding trough because there was no lodging place for them. “ Luke 2:6-7
LORD, watching Eli nestled on his mother’s lap, vulnerable and young, it’s incredible that you desired so much to connect with us that you became a newborn, needing to be wrapped tight and settled down in a trough. Today I want my heart to be a welcoming warm place for your presence.
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