As we journey closer to that joy-filled morning, we pause and reflect on what this new family went through to give us something to celebrate. This week’s Music Monday is another favorite of many and has undoubtedly been sung in churches around the world as part of their Christmas celebrations. But what do the words mean? Where was Jesus born and why was he born there?
The story of the birth of Jesus begins by telling us there was no room in the inn so they stayed in the stable, and Jesus was born in a manger. These things aren’t part of our normal custom today so what exactly where they. There are a few options for the stable and inn imagery, one of which is a travelers inn. These were common in these days, especially since everyone traveled by foot and by animal and needed stops about every 20 miles or so. These travelers’ inns would have rooms all around an open-air courtyard. The courtyard was where the travelers’ animals would rest for the night until they could get on the road to finish their journey.
So imagine this inn is full and the only place for this family to rest is the inner courtyard area. This would be where Jesus would have been born. The manger was the feeding trough. These weren’t made of wood like we see in most of our nativity sets today. Rather they were hewn from stone and feed was placed inside. But in our case there wasn’t food inside, this is where Jesus would have been laid to sleep.
We don’t have time to dissect everything about this scene but that should suffice to help you get a mental image of what’s happening as this baby Jesus was born away in a manger.
Just a quick side note here, keep this same imagery when you consider Silent Night!