What would it have been like to visit baby Jesus that first Christmas? If I could travel back in time, I wonder if I would have endured the darkness, the cold, the unfamiliar, the unsanitary conditions, the unpleasant smells.
I would if I were desperate. I would if I were convinced of His deity.
Still, I would have been perplexed. Why was the Son of God born in a humble structure and bedded in a feeding trough for animals? Why not something “better”?
Perhaps after spending time with Jesus and gazing into His peaceful eyes, I would understand. For a cardinal message of His birth was: heart condition is more important than things.
Through His birth and life, Jesus demonstrated that heart condition takes precedence over things. Put the inner man and relationships first, even if it means living in a dirty house and eating oatmeal for every meal. Christ despised perfectionism because it elevates the external above the internal.
Though the path leads through . . . cold dark dirty noisy obscure smelly places still, I am compelled to come to You.
I crave love, and You are the Good Shepherd giving Your life through Your care and protection.
I crave satisfaction, and You are the Bread of Life meeting my needs and longings so I have more than enough.
I crave a hope and a future, and You are Life in its fullest having defeated the thief of death so I am confident of resurrection.