1 In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. 2 This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. 3 Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. 4 Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. 5 He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.
No place. How often do we say, “this is no place for ____?”
We have predetermined, in our minds, that there is a place for this, and a place for that. Certain people can be or certain things can happen in one place, but not in another.
Christmas is when God responds to us saying, “this is no place…” with, “everyplace is MY place.”
“And I’m going to keep showing up in ALL the places and people that you didn’t expect. You might think you can stop me, but I’m going to force my way in the door. I’m going to show up not only in stables, but in all the places where the homeless lay their heads. I’m going to show up in kindergartens and nursing homes, in prisons and in at the university. I’m going to be wherever you are. Because I’m in you. And you’re in me.”
This is the meaning of the incarnation. What happens when God becomes human is that you can’t keep God out anymore. You can’t tell God, “this is no place for you.” Because everyplace is God’s place. God is everywhere we are.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
When have you encountered Jesus in an unexpected place, or in an unexpected person? Be watching for these unexpected meetings today!
Prayer: God of all the universe, we give you thanks that you found your way into our world – that you made a place when we refused to give you one. Make a place in our hearts today. In the name of your Son, our Savior, born in Bethlehem this night. Amen.