The first is a place of life. Tails twitch. Lambs bleat. The structure itself is purposed for life, both earthly… and eternal. This cave is a place of humility. No amenities. It is a 1-star hotel…but it is The Star. It is not designed for human habitation, but for that of beasts. Amid stamp of hoof and snort and sniff, a baby is born where creatures sought their fodder. The Light of the world, born perhaps by the light of a lone lamp, wrapped in simple strips of cloth. Earthy odors, and some time later, that of frankincense and myrrh. Spices used to anoint the dead. Myriad angels announce the birth of Christ, bursting forth with jubilation that rang through the heavens. The door is open to wondering shepherds, breathless, expectant, then exultant.
The second cave is a place of death. No sound. No odor, except that of those selfsame spices. Cold stone. No soft hay. No kindly eyes gazing upon the Savior. No gifts are here, save the shelter itself, first reserved as the final resting place for a man of means. A gift from one Joseph to the adopted Son of another, the final gift given to the Savior is His grave. No light is here, except The Light, who is wrapped in simple strips of cloth. One heavenly messenger awaits the disciples’ arrival, with these words of victory: “He is not here, for He is risen as He said.” This door is shut. Sealed. But no door is shut to “he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” This Door will leave His tomb. And the disciples arrive, breathless, expectant–then exultant.