Music attribution: David Nevue, Joy to the World from O Come Emmanuel
The widow of Zarephath had one at the ready for Elijah’s visits (1 Kings 17:9).
A couple in Shunem made one for Elisha whenever he came passing through (2 Kings 4:9-11).
And Martha offered hers to the traveling Jesus (Luke 10:38).
What is it? Room.
Earth had none for its Creator, however.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son;
and she wrapped Him in cloths,
and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn
(Luke 2:7 NASB).
No room was prepared for His arrival.
But God had one at the ready for their time of need.
Where the Holy Spirit prepared room in Mary for the Messiah to be birthed into a lost and dying world, God now had one ready to receive Him. He had room prepared in a stable the eve of the Savior’s birth. A manger stood at the ready to receive the delivered Deliverer.
Jesus, born in a stable and laid in a manger—that was all the room offered the Newborn King. But it was room prepared by the providence and provision of God. God’s providence went so far as to have a census decreed (which fulfilled the prophesy of the Bethlehem birthplace). And the provision of God went to the uttermost of “redeeming us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own” (Titus 2:14).
Mary swaddled that child, her precious son, and ever so gently laid Him in a rough-hewn crib.
That empty feeding trough was transformed. (The Bread of Life satisfying His divine mission even then.) Jesus, the One who came to fill and transform every space He inhabits, as a newborn infant made a common feeding trough a royal crib.
But how was that manger room enough to cradle the Son of God? His glory?
With hospitable love, Mary and Joseph welcomed earth’s Visitor. And they prepared room in their hearts for the Babe of God.
Isn’t such love the best gift to give our King?