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Beliefnet is pleased to present the first 7 days of devotionals from Max Lucado’s “3:16: The Numbers of Hope” (Thomas Nelson, 2007). This is Day 2 of the week-long devotional. If you missed the first day, stay subscribed to this feed to start over at the end of the week.
“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped him in cloths and
placed him in a manger, because
there was no room for them in the inn.”
–Luke 2:7
God had entered the world as a baby.
Yet, were someone to chance upon the sheep stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem that morning, what a peculiar scene they would behold.
The stable stinks like all stables do. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling, and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor.
A more lowly place of birth could not exist.
Near the young mother sits the weary father. If anyone is dozing, he is. He can’t remember the last time he sat down. And now that the excitement has subsided a bit, now that Mary and the baby are comfortable, he leans against the wall of the stable and feels his eyes grow heavy.
Wide awake is Mary. My, how young she looks! Her head rests on the soft leather of Joseph’s saddle. The pain has been eclipsed by wonder. She looks into the face of the baby. Her son. Her Lord. His Majesty. At this point in history, the human being who best understands who God is and what he is doing is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. She can’t take her eyes off him. Mary knows she is holding God. She remembers the words of the angel: “His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:33).
He looks like anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. He is absolutely dependent upon Mary for his well-being.
Majesty in the midst of the mundane. She touches the face of the infant-God. How long was your journey!
–Max Lucado
From 3:16: The Numbers of Hope, by Max Lucado (2007). Used with permission of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc.

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