The Son of God Was Born in a Barn
Growing up with the sweet, but historically inaccurate Nativity scenes of baby Jesus after his birth tends to mask some illogical truths. The Messiah was born in a low class family under a cloud of scandal. His mother gave birth to him in a crude, unsanitary shelter for keeping livestock. Jesus spent the first several years of his life with the threat of death hanging over him.
The birth of whom Christians deem the most important figure in human history should have had a greater celebration than Prince William’s birth in line for the throne of England. Heaven’s press conference was not on the steps of a palace or announced to the heads of state at that time. The breaking news of all time occurred to some common shepherds out in the countryside, along with a bright star. Does that even make sense?
Not according to us who feel the least bit intelligent. If it were up to mankind to plan God’s son coming into the world, we would search far and wide for the most suitable parents— wealthy, educated, prominent, beautiful, healthy, and oh yes— believers of God the Father. Only the finest birthing facilities would do at the time of delivery. Money would be no object for the birth celebration. It would take place in the most prestigious surroundings with the most beautiful decor designed by the world’s greatest artists. Renowned chefs would prepare the most expensive and delectable dishes for the elite guest list, which would be the hottest invitation of the century. The guests would include royalty from all over the world, along with the greatest minds and talents in the arts, mathematics and sciences.
And if God continued to allow mankind in its finite wisdom to be in charge of his Son from day one, we would make sure Jesus would have the best trained body guards watching his every move. He would have very little contact with potential disease contamination or dangerous situations. He would wear the finest clothes and be taught by the best tutors money could buy. His friends and acquaintances would be screened before a relationship was established with the Son of God. Only those deemed worthy, via pedigree, wealth, intelligence, and/or exceptional talent would be allowed into his inner circle.
The world would be in awe of the Christ through his mass-produced images, statues, and scripted interviews. Humanity would know of Him, but the vast majority would never have the opportunity to know Him personally. The Son of God would be placed in an ivory palace, inaccessible to common man. Yes, if we were in charge of introducing Jesus Christ to the world, we would be excluding the 99.9999999* of the human race.
The actual Nativity scene was much messier than our Christmas decor suggests, and life wasn’t easy or pain free for the Son of God. But our Creator chose to introduce His Son from the bottom up rather than the top down in the most humble way, making Him accessible and relatable to us all.
Have a joyous and meaningful Christmas 2020.
Donna Van Cleve
Originally written in 2000.