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 would have provided a better understanding of traditions and sacrifices. It is interesting to study, but I think it would have been awfully difficult to live.
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. I like to think the night would have just felt, well, different. Maybe the stars were brighter. Maybe the air outside was filled with anticipation no one could explain. Maybe as Jesus took His first breath on the planet He had come to save, the demons physically shuddered and evil lost some ground. 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 about Him that drew people inspite of themselves? Was Mary even then wondering how someone so human could protect, nurture and care for someone so divine?
I love this time of year. 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. We worship Him as one who has come and is coming again. Bethlehem is as much a heart place as a geographical location for the family of God.
Worship at the Manger: All glory to the One who came, who died and is coming again to take us Home.
Unto us is born.......A Savior.