There could have been trumpets that played or a fireball in the sky that told the weary travelers they were in the right place. It could have been as spectacular as the northern lights illuminating the sky or sparkled different colors or had the stars spell out "I am here" in big letters. Instead it was only a star. A star close up is something to behold, but from far away it's nothing more than a tiny diamond sparkling on a black velvet background. And he could have announced it to someone special first. Instead he chose shepherds who were considered less than people.
He could have chosen someone with a lot of status to be born to. A dignatary or rich man. Someone with the latest gadgetry or someone that lived high on a hill that looked over the lowly people beneath him. But he didn't. He chose a teenage single mother and a carpenter.
It could have been the Ritz. You know the type. One of those hotel rooms filled with bottled water that's way too expensive to drink and a bed that looks almost too good to sleep in. The kind with bell hops and room service where a grilled cheese sandwich costs more than a CD you buy at a music store. But it wasn't. Instead it was a barn filled with the sounds and smells of animals that probably hadn't been bathed since their owners had arrived at the hotel or been cleaned up after either.
He could have come as an army commander dressed in bronze plated armor and a small red cape that announced he was regal. Or a ruler that was wise and powerful that held the power to let you live or die with the full power of the government behind him. But he didn't. Instead, he chose to come as a baby whose only way to communicate with us was to cry. He came as a person that was fully dependant on his parents as much as we were to ours.
Why? Conventional wisdom says he should have had all the ameneties of a king. But that is what is great about the nativity story. There is nothing conventional about it. The Bible foretold that when Jesus came he'd be the stone that made men stumble and the rock that made men fall. Jesus entered humanity as a child so that we could enter Heaven as a child. So that we could know that He understands our humanity and gives us a chance to understand his divinity. This Christmas when you celebrate the birth of Christ, celebrate more than just his birth. Celebrate the reason he came, to seek out and to be born for you.