Because of Sons

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto/aimintang

The following post was written on Christmas morning, 2010, in Killeen, Texas.

I awakened this Christmas morning in an inn. Never did I imagine that I would spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in an inn. Remembering fondly the births of my three children, I recall that I did not spend that time lodging in an inn. Yet in spite of the comfortable surroundings built into these modern homes away from home, there is still a sense of being unsettled.

I am here because of my son. The United States Army operates on a schedule that does not alter for anything except the worst of disaster. My son is scheduled for duty in such a way that it would be impossible for him to travel home to be with our family. Therefore, we have brought the family to him.

Irritation with the inflexible Roman government was likely the source of much grumbling and criticism as travelers compelled by the world wide taxation, made their way to ancestral hometowns. Feet moved one in front of the other on dusty roads. Children were alternately energetic, then hungry, then tired. Old men grumbled their criticism of the government, unnecessary hardships, and those infernal taxes. Families found themselves displaced in order to accomplish the whims of a tyrant. Schedules were interrupted, livelihoods were put on hold, and pregnant women were forced into nightmarish scenarios.

It is doubtful that Joseph and his bride traveled toward Bethlehem alone. Jacob, Joseph’s dad, was also of the house and lineage of David. One thing is for sure, there were enough travelers making their way back to the City of David that the local inns filled to capacity. There would be no maid service nor breakfast bar; not even a cup of coffee. A place where animals were kept seemed to be the most practical spot to take refuge. As Joseph contemplated his situation, I wonder if he didn’t shake his head and say, “Never did I imagine that I would experience the birth of this special child in such a place as this.”

What he could not have known at the time was this: he was here because of his son. God had established the when and the where of this birth and brought the family to this place, in this time. Emmanuel was scheduled for duty. The heavenly Father had a plan in response to the greatest disaster of all time. His son was born to die and in the process, save His people from their sins.

I’m spending Christmas in an inn. Joseph couldn’t find one for his pregnant wife. I slept in a bed. He slept wherever he could. We are here because of our sons.

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