It was a dark, cold, hopeless Judean night.
There had been nights like this one before and there would surely be more to follow for such are the nights of servants--slaves--of an unjust king. Caesar had ordered another count of his kingdom for the purpose of taxing his servants even further.
From all over the country side, men, women, boys, girls, entire families packed their belongings and headed on a journey to the town of their births.
I'm sure you sense it too...the tired in their voices...the sleep in their eyes...the hope in their heart that this census would be the last. The longing for more than a life of servitude to an cruel man. After all you can't build a kingdom on broken backs.
They knew, all too well, that this "exile" was of their own doing. They had turned away from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to follow false gods. They knew that all of this was a result of their sin, but they also knew that their Father God said He would send the Messiah--a Savior--to be their ruler. So, with expectation, they waited in darkness for the Light of the world to deliver them from Caesar's rule.
As Mary and he new husband, Joseph, road into town there was no doubt in Mary's mind that this would be the night...the night that the strange life she carried would come. You see, this life, inside of her still, was a miracle for she was a virgin. Completely chaste.
The complications surrounding her mysterious pregnancy where trying, to be sure. No one believed that she was a virgin. How could a virgin be carry a life? It was impossible. Absolutely impossible, except that the life she carried was God made flesh. The very incarnation of God Himself she carried and protected and loved before He was born.
So when on that dark, cold, hopeless Judean night, she heard Joseph say, "There's no room here" yet again, her body ached as her muscles contracted pushing God's Light from her. Undoubtedly, her heart ached for her mother to hold her and guide her into motherhood. Unfortunately, Joseph and animals in a stable were the only nurse she was allowed.
But it was in this miserable place--of loneliness, of pain, of doubt, of fear, of darkness, of sheer agony--that Light was born.
The Messiah had come.
He came for Mary...and Joseph...and the Jews in that Bethlehem town, but He also came for you and for me.
Just as Jesus came 2,000 years ago, He still comes today. In so many ways I feel like Mary, Joseph and the people of Isearl. I feel, sometimes, that I'm serving an unjust king whose only goal is to make me "pay" more. Sometimes I'm lonely. Sometimes I live in a fear and self-doubt. Sometimes, I live in darkness.
But the Messiah has come and brought me out of darkness and into His marvelous light.
I'm certain that I'm not the only person who sometimes feels lost without hope of finding the light switch. But I leave you with this today. Find Christ and let Him light your life.