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Beauty From Ashes


Luke 2:1-7

Today’s Christmas cards paint rustic pictures of Mary and Joseph looking calmly at their son as he sleeps peacefully in a bed of hay. Through the windows, the family has a clear view of the night sky and a cool breeze whistles through the stable. But stables Jesus’s time were often caves with feeding troughs carved into the rock walls. The surroundings were dark, dirty and far from majestic. This was no place for a baby to be born, let alone a king.

A stable was not where the Jews expected the Messiah to be born. But from the dark, dirty ashes of a cave the Christ was born. Out of the mess of the manger came the Messiah. Inside of an ordinary stable arose the Savior. This is a reminder to us not to limit God by our expectations. When we least expect it, God can bring beauty from our ashes.

We serve a God who turned a blood stained cross into an empty tomb.  If God can do that, He can turn your mess into a miracle. He can turn your problem into His promise. He can turn your stable into state house. Take the limits off. Raise your expectations. The best is still yet to come.


  • Where are you limiting God with your expectations?
  • What step can you take in believing that God can do immeasurably more than your expectations?

Stable caves

Stables in Jesus's day were actually caves like this one, with feeding troughs dug into the walls. 

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