Luke 2:7

“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

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My wife and I welcomed a new baby into our family three years ago this month.

Sadie Belle Glassner was born six weeks early, surrounded by a team of doctors and nurses. Her lungs weren’t quite developed, so she was wheeled off to the neonatal intensive care unit shortly after she was born.

Nurses placed 5-pound Sadie in a high-tech incubator called a Giraffe, a device that costs more than a new Kia, and she was hooked up to an oxygen tube and a variety of sensors. After 12 days in the NICU, my wife and I finally got to bring Sadie home about a week before Christmas.

Sadie’s birth was quite a contrast to how Jesus entered the world.

Instead of a team of doctors and nurses, he was surround by cattle in a barn. The Bible makes no mention of a midwife, so we’re really not sure who delivered Mary’s baby.

Instead of an incubator, He was placed in a manger, a wooden feeding trough. Have you ever watched cows eat? It’s not a pretty sight. The manger surely was slathered with dried cow spit.

Before entering Sadie’s room, we scrubbed our hands with soap and a sponge and added a dose of hand sanitizer for good measure.

How could the Savior or the world have been born in such unsanitary conditions?

But it was all part of God’s plan.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Though Jesus’ care team left much to be desired, his communications team knocked it out of the park.

To announce Sadie’s birth, my wife and I called and texted friends and family members, and we posted photos on social media.

God proclaimed the birth of His Son by placing a radiant star in the sky and sending a host of angels to announce the good news: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

And that message is what matters most. The circumstances of Jesus’ birth are secondary to the hope He brought to a doomed world.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

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>How do you include Christ in your Christmas traditions?

>Why do you think Jesus was born in such a humble place?