We don’t see it much any more in the modern era of online reservations and travel sites. But it used to be more of a thing when people traveled. Motels would light a neon “No Vacancy” sign when all their rooms were rented for the night.

Mary and Joseph knew how it felt to travel to a town in which all the rooms were taken. Thus, the common phrase we use today, “There’s no room in the inn.”

No vacancy for weary, young travelers. No vacancy for an expecting mother. No vacancy for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – the Savior of the World – the Messiah to be born.

And God didn’t make any contingency plans.

Instead, the King of the Universe is born in a stable – which is probably a generous word. No mattress, just hay… maybe. No air freshener, just… well, you know… animals were there. No chandeliers, perhaps just the light of the moon.

Nothing special for the Most Special One. No pomp and circumstance, just humble circumstances. No fanfare, just immediate family.

I’m guessing that, if any of us were in charge of the Son of God coming to earth, we would have planned it differently. Much more stately. More like a palace. With the best medical staff. Prepared statements. Carefully crafted social media posts.

Instead, in the wisdom of Almighty God, Almighty God was clothed in humanity… in humble circumstances… without worldwide acclaim. Just. Like. Us… except for the stable part.

You don’t have to look past the stable to see that the Savior of the world can identify with us. No silver spoon in His mouth.

One biblical writer put it so elegantly:

For we do not have a high priest [Jesus] who is unable to emphathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been temped in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.

Now catch this:

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Stunning! Jesus identifies with you. He “gets” you. He’s walked in your shoes. So when you pray, He’s nodding His head. He understands.

And it began in the stable.

Oh, and one more thing. About that “No Vacancy” sign. When you make your reservation in heaven through a relationship with Jesus, there will be room for you.