And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:7 & 11

 The story of Jesus’ birth is a familiar tale to us. I am sure a number of us could repeat it without flaw we have heard it so many times. There is something good about that and something bad. Have we lost the wonder and amazement of the story? For myself, I wonder if it has ever felt as real to me as it does this season. Our life at Camp Stanley has been a rollercoaster for years. As I read the verses above and sat in awe of what God did for us, I wondered if the healing and calm of this year had given me the space, finally, to see Christmas for the miracle it is. This may be the first Christmas that I understand what that baby really meant for the world. That might sound like an odd thing to say. I’m a follower of Christ and I have been for many years, most of my life. Yet, there is something different this year. I’m not just thinking of Jesus the man this Christmas season, I’m thinking of Jesus the baby. I’m wondering what it must have felt like for a teenage Mary to give birth in a barn and hold the Savior of the world in her arms. I’m beginning to understand that the healing of the earth didn’t start when Jesus was nailed to the cross, it started when he was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in the manager. It didn’t just start with his last breath, it started with his first. The healing the world needed came through his words and life as much as it did through his death. We did not want God to rule us in the garden, we did not make room for Jesus to be born, and we did not listen to logic when we nailed him to a cross. We have never wanted a Savior. We have always, from the beginning of time, wanted to be our own lords.

But He came anyway.

And he didn’t come on the winds of a storm and erase us from his planet. He came through the birth canal of a young girl, in a barn, next to animals. He came in the stillness of night.

Have you made room for him in your home? Because he won’t enter your home uninvited, riding a chariot of fire, to take over your life. He will come as a baby who enters your life, unexpected, in the stillness of night, wooing you with his love for you. But he can only come if you make room for him. And when you do, he will begin to change your life in unexpected ways, in gentle nudges, in subtle urges.

Make room in your heart, in your home, for a baby who was born on Christmas. He will forever change your life. He continues to change mine.