It was the worst of times and it was the best of times (Luke 2)

And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn, Luke 2:6-7

The days leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ were in many ways impossible days (see yesterday’s blog).  From a human viewpoint it was the worst of times.  Consider just  a few of the historical details:  The Jewish people along with most people groups in the world were under the domination of Rome.  In Israel the Jewish people were living with a religious system that had become very corrupt.

Not only do we understand these facts, we learn even more as we turn our attention away from the nation and turn our attention toward one engaged couple, Mary and Joseph.   Brothers and sisters, their world had been turned upside down.  An angel from Heaven had announced that God was giving this couple a child in the most unusual way (Luke 1:31-32).

  • How were they going to be able to explain this to the people in Nazareth?
  • How could they convince people that they were telling the truth?

As the couple were trying to navigate all of this the news came that they were going to have to go to Bethlehem to fill out a national census.  This could not get worse, but it did because Mary was in her ninth month of pregnancy.

Are you ready for more?  The little town of Bethlehem was a ninety mile journey through rough territory.  When the couple arrive they found the town overrun with people called to the city to do the same thing they were being asked to do.  Joseph discovered there was no room available.  Oh, it cannot get any worse, but it did, Mary announced to Joseph, “It’s time!”

The only place Joseph coul find for the baby to be delivered was in a stable because there was no room for them.

Yes, now you can say it, these were the worst of times.  But wait, I believe these were also the best of times:

  1. Mary gave birth to The Son of God.
  2. Mary gave birth to Heaven’s answer for our sin, 2:11

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

On this impossible night in history a light shown (the glory of God) into the world.  The Lord had come (Luke 2:14).

Brothers and sisters, you and I once again find ourselves in impossible times.  But at the same time I tell you these are the best of times.  I know this to be true: The gospel shines brightest when it is darkest in the world.

All those years ago the shepherds made the news of Christ widely known (2:17).  They let the world know, the Savior has come.  In our day we must again make it known that the Savior has come to save.  We must join the Messiah in His work.  He is even now working (Matt. 5:13-16).  He is teaching us how to live and how to love.  We must know that the Messiah is coming again (Rev. 21:11, 22-26).

Only Jesus can turn the worst of times into the best of times!!!

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