Here it is, Christmas week. No matter how many Christmases I have experienced, I still marvel at the most minute of details of the biblical account of the birth of Jesus. Yesterday in church, my pastor touched on the contrast between a stable and a palace. Wouldn’t it be fitting for a king of any kind to be born in a palace? But here, the Son of God, foretold by prophets to come to the world to be the Messiah, was born in a barn. A feeding trough for animals would have to settle for a crib.
In the social, political and economic environment we’re experiencing today, stability is a precious commodity. So many have learned that the very entities we thought were bullet proof, in fact, are little more than a house of cards. We’ve seen huge companies which had been in existence for generations simply vanish. Drive around your town and look at all the empty storefronts. Look at all the empty office suites in all those buildings and complexes.
Forget the economic stuff. We have a drama playing out before us right now of someone who has more money than you can count, whose life is in complete ruin. Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of his generation, if not ever. But almost to the degree in which he mastered his craft, he cultivated an image and a brand which has made him even more money and fame than his talent as a golfer. His reputation for controlling his public persona is legendary. It is now known by all that he has lived a very reckless life. I’ve seen it before. People get so big, so rich, so powerful that they begin to believe their own press. Just throw some of your money around and people will do your bidding.
But what happens when all that stuff you worked so hard to control begins to fall apart? Once it starts, the momentum builds and builds like a roaring avalanche. Whether Tiger can save his marriage is pretty much a comically rhetorical question now. The real questions are can the man show his face in public knowing that the once adoring world now thinks he’s a dirtbag? How will he handle it? Will he ever be accepted again? Is he forever tarnished beyond redemption?
Stability isn’t found in palaces. It’s not found in the rich and famous. It’s not found in a huge bank account. Heck, can you even trust that your bank will still be there next week? God has made a career out of using the unconventional to do the miraculous. God could have beamed a full grown Messiah from Heaven to our world like He was Captain Kirk. God could have blown up a mountain from which a Savior would emerge from the ashes in a heavenly glow. A mighty celestial army could have pierced the clouds ushering the King of Kings to His domain.
Instead, God came to us as a baby boy, umbilically tied to a teenage Jewish girl. No, it wasn’t a palace fit and designed for a king. It was a stable designed to house animals who didn’t need a savior. In an out of the way venue, God made His entrance to our world. His arrival was announced only to those on a very exclusive guest list. And those who shared in this turning point of mankind had to endure some serious obstacles to be there. But when they did, when they came to the stable, they cast their eyes on a baby boy. This boy would one day pay a price for all those who have been and will be born since.
No matter what foundation upon which you have built your life, if it’s not on Christ the Solid Rock, you’re building your life on sinking sand. You’ll never have enough money, but you can have enough Jesus because He’s more than enough. Living a life of humility, a life which reflects the love God has for you is where you will find true joy, peace and stability.
You won’t find it in a palace. You’ll find Him in a stable.