Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thoughts on the Nativity

The birth of Jesus Christ is cloaked in mystery and the miraculous. Christians believe the biblical account of Gabriel, the angel, being sent by God to a young Hebrew virgin named Mary with a message that would change the course of human history forever. The message was that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that she would give birth to him and that He would save His people from their sins.

Mary is betrothed to Joseph, an honorable man, who through a few angelic interventions of his own comes to terms with the reality that they have been chosen by the Almighty to be the parents of the Messiah of Israel.
I have tried to imagine what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph to bear the reproach of their circumstances.  Both Mary and Joseph had to adjust their concepts of reality and trust in the word of the LORD. They were faithful stewards of the gift of God and were obedient to obey instructions to go to Bethlehem to be taxed, in spite of Mary being "great with child."

What must it have been like to take that long donkey ride to Bethlehem and realize that you are in labor with your first baby ?

What must it have been like to be away from your mother and sisters and close women friends at such a time ?

What must it have been like to arrive in Bethlehem and there is no room in a clean, comfortable inn  in which to give birth ?

What must it have been like to have to give birth in a stable with animals as your attendants ?

There is no biblical record of any midwives being present, but were they there ?

The humility of the birth of Jesus is astounding. The simplicity is something to contemplate and serves to remind me that this is the way that God chose to enter the world and relate to us. Pause, and think about that.


  1. Lovely post, food for thought.

    Not to make light at ALL, but I'll bet that donkey ride really helped move things along! Good, gentle pelvic rocking, done over a nice long, stretch of time, slowly paced but consistent . . . kind of like sitting on a birth ball, only shaggier.

    Hmm, I might suggest horseback riding (nothing fast!) for overdue mamas, or those in long labors . . .

  2. I had thought the same thing about the donkey ride, Anne. It's definitely a gravity enhancing activity !