Scripture Readings: Isaiah 9.1-6; Titus 2.11-14; Luke 2.1-20
“Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” – Luke 2.7
Jesus’ birth story in Luke’s gospel anticipates Jesus’ whole life and emphasizes his mission to people who are poor. In Bethlehem for a Roman census, Joseph finds shelter among the animals in a stable. There Mary gives birth. Like the holy family, many refugees, immigrants, and deportees today find little room among us. Like finding shelter in a barn during a census, many live in cramped camps awaiting legal status in a new country.
An angel chorus announces Jesus’ birth to shepherds, people who are poor and living out in the fields with their sheep. They find the child in the manger and become the heralds of the messiah’s birth. We recognize with the shepherds that Jesus is good news for the poor.
On the world stage Caesar counts potential taxpayers. His subjects give Caesar the title Augustus, the divine. But it is the child lying in the manger who incarnates the love and life-giving power of the universe. Jesus is the true savior of the world, the one who incarnates God’s love among us.
Where might Jesus be born today to express God’s willingness to identify with the lowliest among us?