That He was born in a barn.
Now, the place of His birth didn't look like a barn the way we picture it, but it was a dwelling where animals were kept. So it functioned like a barn as we know it.
Yet, the barn still is the best part for me because of what Paul Cherry (of Paul and Vanessa Cherry Ministries) said once in a sermon years and years ago during a revival service at Calvary Baptist Church in Blunt, SD. He said something about since Jesus was born in a barn anyone could approach Him -- an inclusive kind of invitation. If Jesus had been born in a palace that would have eliminated the possibility for millions to come to Him. Now, we are just talking about His birth but the fact of His birth in a barn stands for the truth that anyone is welcome to come to Jesus. Jesus Himself says in John 6:37, "the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out."
Okay, what makes me a little bit sad?
Yesterday, my two youngest children and I (and my now officially adult son) went to an indoor water park in Rapid City. And we had fun. We had a lot of fun. Both Pete and Megan enjoyed themselves and that was the point.
But the place made me a little bit sad because it was very unfriendly toward disabilities. There is no way I could take my son Hawk there and expect him to enjoy himself. My 21 year old son carried Pete up the steps to the water slides and I could tell the lifeguards were biting their lips to stop themselves from telling us that wasn't permitted. If they hadn't allowed it, Pete wouldn't have been able to enjoy the slides (and they would have had a very angry mother on their hands). Even the signs at the place say something about if you aren't in typical healthy shape (meaning no disabilities) you aren't permitted on the slides.
And I know this is for safety reasons. At first I didn't even think I could physically bring Hawk in with his wheelchair because we had to climb several flights of stairs to get to the place where you pay. But after being there for a while I realized I could bring Hawk through the attached restaurant, but there was no signage to tell us this. I ended up taking Pete up the several flights of stairs so he could get a wrist band. It would have been nice to know he could have walked through another way.
It is sad to be excluded because of who you are. It is sad to be excluded because you do not measure up to what society thinks you should be able to accomplish. It's sad to just be an onlooker to activities that you want to be part of.
(Let me clarify something -- my son Hawk is happy. And I don't think he cares much about the things he can't do. He enjoys life. But as his mom, it makes me a bit sad. Even as I write this a weight of sadness sits inside me about this.)
I am so thankful Jesus welcomes everyone to come to Him. You will not be rejected by Him if you want Him in your life. You can't buy His gift of life with wealth. You can't manipulate your way to Him. You can't do a bunch of good works to earn His gift of life. You just need to come to Him.