It doesn't feel like the Advent and Christmas seasons were all that long ago and yet it feels a little strange reading Luke's nativity in Lent.
As I read over it again though, I saw the fasting of Jesus in the wilderness begin at his birth. He has humble beginnings - relegated to the room where the animals were kept (likely a part of the house in that day). The guest room (rather than inn) may have already been filled with other relatives coming from away.
Maybe more important relatives.
Maybe older relatives who needed more comfort.
What we don't see in this scene are Joseph's relatives coming to assist with the birth. There would surely have been a mid-wife there. My grandmother served as a mid-wife to the old Hoover's Orchard neighborhood in Wichita. They were not well-to-do and she delivered all of her own children there in her home. The last one almost seventy-five years ago.
Today, we are not so far from the manger and yet we are light years from it.
|Not a glamorous job even today |
but maybe fulfilling by its own right.
Instead, he is visited by shepherds. These were the heralds of his birth.
A poor man's trade and not one of sterling reputation either.
Finally, we see that Jesus is presented at the temple in accordance with Jewish Law. Note the significance of a pair of two turtledoves or pigeons. In Leviticus 12, it states that these were to be given if you couldn't afford a lamb.
God came for all people - even people of humble status.