day 9 :: O Holy Night

Luke 2:6

And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.

A very simple verse.  While she and Joseph were in Bethlehem because of the census, it came time for the baby to be born.  Let’s slow this little verse down a bit & grab hold of some of the nuggets I tend to miss:

  1. Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem late in her pregnancy.  The journey was about 80 miles.  EIGHTY!  On foot or riding a donkey.  No wonder the time came to give birth…all that walking.  Yikes.  I was more laying on the couch eating Lucky Charms at this point in my pregnancy.  It had to have been a horrible journey.  But the journey was required.  And the journey fulfilled the prophecy of the Messiah being born in Bethlehem.  {Micah 5:1-2}  I wonder if Mary or Joseph considered the fact that somehow they’d have to get to Bethlehem for the birth?  They knew the prophecy.  Did they try to figure out how it would be fulfilled?  Did they try to orchestrate it themselves?  {that might just be the control freak in me}  Did they chuckle with a little “oh God, you are amazing” when they heard of the census that would require them to go there?  So many questions.
  2. Mary was uncomfortable.  Clearly this goes without saying.  Being near the end of a pregnancy is uncomfortable enough, never you mind that she’s walking {or riding a donkey, not sure what’s worse}, she’s probably hungry, she’s likely thirsty, she’s far from home and in an unfamiliar place.  I’m guessing she’s anxious & scared also.  I know with my first I was all those things.  Ah, let me tell you about  my sweet ginger boy’s birth. The hubs and I had to drive to a hospital which was 58.2 miles away from our home.  We drove.  I’ll say that again :: we drove.  I had snacks and water in the car.  The seat was rather comfortable, although I couldn’t get comfortable.  We made one stop along the way for the hubs to, well he’d had a lot of water in the car. As he stood on the side of the road on the exit ramp, I remember yelling at him because I was so uncomfortable & he needed to get moving or I would move without him.  I was overwhelmed with excitement wrapped in heavy anxiety & fear.  This was all new to me. So back to Mary.  She must have been scared & uncomfortable too.  Did she yell at Joseph to get moving?  hmmmm  I’ll add that to the list of things to ask in Heaven someday.
  3. Mary went into labor.  “…the time came for her to give birth”  eight little words that I often skim right over.  Eight little words that perhaps lasted hours upon hours.  Simple little words full of contractions and painful pushing.  Mary was a rockstar!  No drugs, likely no bed, no doctor, no nothing.  And she brought forth the King of kings.  In the exact same manner as every other person on this planet.  With sweat & tears & joy & fear.  Did she wonder if her contractions were real?  Did she curse Eve for the pain in childbirth curse she had started {which led to this entire predicament}?  Was she sad she was so far from home?  Was she concerned that everything would be alright?  Did she wish she had a cradle instead of feed trough to put him in?  Did she question God’s judgement on the birthplace of her child?  Did she wonder if this was the plan?
  4. Mary was a human.  I forget sometimes that Mary was just a young women, very much human and very much like any of us.  She had to have considered that God messed this up a little.  I mean, this was the King, the Messiah.  Was he really supposed to be born in a manger?  Did she question if she had heard the message right?  Did she wonder if she dreamt the whole thing?  Maybe that’s just what I would have been thinking.  Because to me, it doesn’t seem right for the One who is to reign forever and ever to be born in a such a way.  It seems like fanfare and a palace birth would be more fitting, with servants and the paparazzi waiting for the first photos.  That’s what I would expect…for the King.  But God’s ways are not mine {can I get a hallelujah!}  And his choice of parents and birthplace and life were exactly as they were to be.  And Mary, in all her humanness, still chose to believe.  Chose to be a servant for God.

 

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