6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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. (Luke 2:6-7)
These verses make up a large part of, probably, the most widely told story in the whole of human history. I’m not sure that I can bring anything new to it.
In my experience, everyone who tells the Nativity Story includes two parts from these verses: that baby Jesus was wrapped in cloth and placed in a manger, and that there was no guest room available – usually using the famous words ‘no room at the Inn’. These two things bring a certain level of excitement to the story, don’t they? This seems to be the climax of the story, with people all over the world celebrating the birth of Jesus on 25th December.
However, I’m particularly interested in the first part of verse 7, ‘and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son’. This is because I passionately love learning about family history; not only my own but other people’s as well. So, for me, the genealogy lists in the Bible excite me. I appreciate that not everyone shares my enthusiasm! I wonder, though, how interested other people are to learn about Jesus’ immediate biological family. I like to imagine what Jesus’ experience of growing up with siblings was like.
I suppose it mainly interests me because there’s a lovely emphasis on the fact that when we become Christians we are adopted into God’s family and become heirs with Christ as His brothers and sisters. Once adopted we become part of the largest and most diverse family imaginable. That, for me, is worth celebrating.