A Cave? Saturday, December 25, 2021
When I first learned that the “stable” was likely a cave, I went into denial.
I don’t know how old I was, but the story took a dramatic shift in an instant. Before you know it they’ll tell me that cows weren’t there either. Or the little drummer boy. And how would you get a Christmas tree inside a cave? So confusing.
Every now and then the details of my faith journey — and the faith story I’ve known — get a bit confused. That happens in all aspects of life, I suppose. Like when I learned that George Washington didn’t chop down a cherry tree or Santa didn’t come down my North New Hope Road chimney at Christmas. (The jury’s still out on that one.)
The details of the story make the story interesting, without a doubt. But sometimes the details confuse the message … or take our eyes off of the message.
Like the stable. It doesn’t matter if Jesus was born in a stable or a cave. It doesn’t matter if there were three kings or seven. It doesn’t matter if they were “kings” at all. What matters is that God took on flesh and became one of us, who:
though he was in the very nature of God …
made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)
The story of Christmas is a profoundly remarkable and significant story — not because of little drummer boys or mangers or stables, but because of a God whose love for us caused him to stoop down from heaven so that we might touch the very face of God.
May that story — may that profound Truth — give you hope and peace this Christmas season.
Dear God, in the beauty of this season, keep my eyes on you. In the mystery of this season, make me ever-thankful that your love has come. In the joy of this season, give me courage to join the choirs of angels and sing, “O Come, let us adore him.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Rhodes Woolly
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC
This devotional is a joint project between Christmas Lutheran (Bethlehem) and St. John’s (Salisbury, NC).