As a child, I frequently visited my uncle’s farm. My cousins and I would play for hours in the hay barn, where it was clean and dry. The cattle barn was another matter. It was dirty and smelly – not a place to play.
In Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, a baby was born in a stable surrounded by animals. A dirty, smelly, stable. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords came into this world in a place of lowly means—not in a fancy inn or a palace.
Could God have arranged it differently? Yes, of course, He is God. But I think Jesus’ place of birth is in keeping with His life and ministry. He came not to be served, but to serve.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.