I'm so thankful to live in a time after Jesus came to save the world from sin. I love the Old Testament, but one - I'm not so big on killing animals for any reason and two - I don't do a great job of keeping up with my sin as it is. I suppose growing up in that culture we would have had a better understanding of traditions and sacrifices. Without Jesus as an intercessor they must have had great respect for the Lord. It is interesting to study, but I think it would have been awfully difficult to live.
And most of the Old Testament does not make me wish I had been there. I love the stories of Esther and Deborah and Jeremiah and David and on and on and on, but the circumstances surrounding what made them famous would not have been terribly enjoyable.
As the New Testament opens though, I really wish I had been there. And if I could have I think I would have chosen to be an occupant in the Inn where Joseph and Mary stopped to deliver the Savior into the world. I like to think the night would have just felt different. Maybe the stars were brighter. Maybe the air outside was filled with anticipation that something wonderful was about to happen. Maybe as Jesus came into the world and took His first breath on the planet He had come to save, the demons physically shuddered. He was here.
Maybe as the other occupants of the Inn went for the continental breakfast (?) the next morning they heard the soft whimper of a newborn baby and stopped to say hello. Did they see something eternal in his eyes? Sure he looked like any other baby, but was there something so different about Him that people stopped to ponder what it might be? Was Mary even then wondering how someone so human could protect, nurture and care for someone so divine?
I love this time of year. It's always slightly amusing to me to hear people who the rest of the year give no thought to Jesus worship Him with the songs they sing. I was sitting in Starbucks the other day where usually overhead is playing songs with weird messages, cussing and hopelessness and had to smile when Christ the Savior is Born came on. The guy at the next table over wearing a t-shirt depicting Buddha smoking marijuana was singing along! I loved it.
This is His season. This is when those of us who have loved Him all year stop to remember that the gift in the manger still lives within those of us who believe in Him. We worship Him as one who has come and is coming again. Bethlehem is as much a heart place as a geographical location. And it's a time for those who never give thought to Him the rest of the year to be confronted by His amazing beginning at every turn.
Unto us is born.......A Savior.