Do You Recognize God in Your Midst?
Le Denombrement de Bethlehem by Pieter Bruegel II
This is Pieter Bruegel's picture of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem for the census. It's the historical event written about in Luke 2:1-5. Bruegel puts Mary and Joseph into a town within Belgium where he lives. They could just as well be riding into your town.
It's a picture that tells the story of a busy world. It's full of activity. Everywhere you look is a person or group doing something. Children are playing, carts are being loaded, some are working with tools or walking to town. Few people are interacting with each other. Each moves in their private world oblivious to the strangers coming into their town.
In the foreground, almost in the center sits a lady on a donkey with a black cape over her head and body. She is Mary -- large with a child about to be born. Joseph leads the way to find accommodation. No one pays attention to them. They will quietly come to town and then leave changing the entire world. Most in this town will miss this momentous occasion. They will be too busy -- too occupied with the moment to be concerned with the birth of Jesus Christ. The Son of God is about to be born into the world -- into this ordinary town. But few will know or care.
Are you so busy with your day to day life that you have missed the Son of God? He has come to this world so all men can know God through Him. He has visited your country, your town, your home -- but did you see Him? Did you recognize God in your midst?
Jesus will come "cloaked in black." He will come in unexpected ways. He may look like your neighbor that needs some help. Or, he may look like a colleague at work that needs your encouragement. If you're too busy you will miss him. Don't let the affairs of this life keep you from recognizing the Son of God in your midst. Don't let Jesus pass through your life without giving Him the place He deserves. Stop all your busyness and give the Lord Jesus a "room in your inn."
"Whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the One who sent me."