As we prepare for celebrating our Lord's birth, today's devotion is based on Luke 2:4-5, "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."
It could not have been an easy trip. Joseph needed to get to Bethlehem for legal reasons, and he brought Mary with him on the verge of delivery. In spite of the Christmas cards, there's a good chance they both walked. The Bible says nothing about a donkey. And the trip was at least 70 miles.
And then the birth itself—not in an inn, as there was no room for them there. Labor and delivery for a first-time mother—could Joseph find anyone to help? Who knows? No cradle, just a manger to keep Him off the floor so no one could step on Him and the rats wouldn't bite Him.
This is how much God loves us, that He sent His only Son into the world under such circumstances. This is how much Jesus our Savior loves us. Our troubles, suffering, poverty, and griefs—He shared them all from the beginning, every day of His life.
He did it for you and me because He loves us. As He shared our suffering, so now we share in His joy and everlasting life. Jesus came to be Immanuel, God-with-us forever.
Please pray with me; Lord, thank You for loving us so much. Draw me closer to You as I live my life so that I never forget your love and forgiveness. In Your name, I pay. Amen.