2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
The history of America is filled with rags to riches stories. In fact one of our Presidents began life as an impoverished orphan and rose to hold the highest office in the land.
But the story of Jesus is not a rags-to-riches story; it is a riches-to-rags story. It is a story of leaving the glory of Heaven to come to earth. Jesus could have been born in the most elegant mansion on the ritziest boulevard in Rome. He could have had aristocratic parents who boasted of their pedigree. He could have had the finest clothes from the most exclusive shops. He could have had legions of angels as an army of servants to respond to His every whim. But He had none of that. Instead, Jesus humbled Himself.
God came into our world. He was like any other baby who needed to be cradled, needed to be nurtured, and needed to be protected. The Creator of the universe was born in a stable in Bethlehem. He made Himself vulnerable to two young humans, Joseph and Mary.
Like everything else in the Christmas story, we have romanticized this aspect. I think, in many ways, we miss its raw, powerful meaning. This stable or barn (or maybe even cave) where Christ was born was cold and damp. It also would have smelled of manure and moldy hay. God incarnate was born on the dirt floor of a stable. Our Savior came not as a monarch draped in gold and silk, but as a baby wrapped in rags.
Jesus rose from His throne and went to earth. He went from being a Sovereign to a Servant. He went from the glory of God to a stable filled with animals.
Think about what Jesus left to come to us. Jesus stepped into the world in a manger so that we might have a home in Heaven.