It was improvised and haphazard. Nothing was ready or prepared. It happened in the most unlikely of places. Nobody would have expected to find it happening in such a place.
This is the way that God enters the world: Jesus Christ was not born in the maternity wing of a hospital, nor even at home. In the end it was all very much improvised because the Gospel tells us his bed was a manger, a feeding trough for animals.
All of this tells us a great deal about the nature of God. He recognised the imperfections of the world, but he, nevertheless, loved the world into which he was born. He did not express dissatisfaction, say that this was not good enough and opt for something different because it looked better: he loved the world for what it was and his love and presence began to transform people and places. God never gives up on the world.
Seeking perfection can keep us from the Gospel. Constantly seeking perfection will make us focus on what is missing rather than what is there. It is not helped by the messages sent out by the advertisers, especially at Christmas, telling us what to buy in order to make it a ‘perfect’ Christmas, what we need and how we need to look to be a ‘perfect’ person. Dissatisfaction can quickly follow, not just in what we have but also in our relationships. We think that something else, even someone else, will be better.
At Christmas, God recognises the imperfections of the world, but loves it with its imperfections. Such loving transforms it. God never gives up on the world. Christmas is an opportunity to celebrate God being born into the world in the person of Jesus Christ. It is an opportunity to thank God for all that there is in our lives. It is also an opportunity to pray for those who, for whatever reason, will be struggling this Christmas.
Wishing you joy and blessings for Christmas.