Blog Devotionals

Mary and Joseph Take a Christmas Road Trip

December 19, 2022 | Sam Rainer

Take a moment and read Luke 2:1-20. In this text, Mary wraps Jesus tightly in a cloth.
She cradles Him and then places Him in a manger. The image of baby Jesus in a manger is one
of sensitivity and vulnerability. It’s a feeding trough for animals—an inadequate bed for a Savior
but all Mary and Joseph had. A young mom hugs her newborn and gently lulls Him to sleep.
God takes His first nap.

When you have a baby, everything changes. New timelines occur. Infants often get hungry, and
they will not let you delay feeding. Life takes on a new structure. Dirty diapers explode, and
fingerprint smudges appear on glass everywhere. The lower cabinets need locks. A new pace is
necessary. You must become an expert in logistics to get children to multiple locations
simultaneously. I wonder if Jesus ever reminded His mother about God’s omnipresence.
Have you ever considered how Mary birthed Jesus when she was on a road trip with Joseph? I
can imagine an argument on the way back, “Well, I would have gotten a larger rental donkey
had I known you were going to have the child while we were traveling!”

To raise a child, you must accommodate a child. Advent demonstrates how God accommodated
us to save us. God accommodated us as His children in the same way we accommodate our
children. How? Jesus came as a child! He came to our level so we can know Him personally.
Why did Jesus come as an infant? Why not a full-grown man? There is the obvious answer:
fulfilling prophecy. He needed to be born under the Law, and part of the requirement was
circumcision on the eighth day after birth.

But Jesus’ birth is more profound than just fulfilling prophecy. It’s about the gift of your salvation.
The virgin birth is a sign of Jesus’ divinity. His infancy demonstrates His humanity. Jesus arrives
from heaven but must take the full human journey. To make a complete sacrifice (full atonement
on the cross), Jesus had to make a total commitment to humanity. And the only way to do that is
to come as a baby. Colossians 1:17 records how Jesus existed before anything else and how
He holds all creation together.

What a Christmas picture! The tiny One bound by Mary in swaddling cloth is the great I Am who
keeps us all together. The season of Advent leads us to the birth of Christ. Advent means
“coming” or “arrival.” The waiting is over. Christmas is here!