Rather than having made a list and checked it twice before heading out on an annual adventure to bless children around the world, on this day (as we celebrate the historical record) a young couple neared the end on their journey in which they were to be placed upon a list. It was the time of the census, and Joseph had to return to his ancestral home to be registered. He had brought with him his young wife with whom he still had not had relations but who herself was ready to deliver the most special baby in all of history--the One that would hold a list of not who was naughty or nice, but of who was once naughty and made nice by His own blood
Nearly two thousand years ago this young couple arrived in Bethlehem where their Son who was to be King of kings was to be born that night in a place reserved for animals. It is not because He couldn't have had better, but because our God determined that His own Son who humbled Himself to take on the form of man would be born of a virgin in the most lowly of ways with the least of things, only later to lay down His precious life to pay for our sins and then to take it back up again and rejoin the Father from whom He came to reign as Lord forever.
As we head into this last day before Christmas, and we are pressed to think of what we might have forgotten let us remember that our God did not forget us. He loves us so much that He sent His Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
This is the real story of Christmas and its most humble beginning nearly two thousand years ago.