So I wanted to share this amazing birth story with you. In fact the best birth story ever in history...
On one pretty, clear cool evening a couple was traveling. The fiancé was driving while his pregnant partner began to feel the onset of labor. There were in the middle of nowhere, it was dark and not another soul was in sight.
He kept driving on to get to town while she huffed beside him through each contraction. A ripple of anxiety and anticipation went through her as she realized it wouldn't be long now.
By the time the couple reached town it was too late. Her water had broken and the contractions were right on top of each other. The baby was coming. He would have to pull over to assist her in delivering the baby. So he pulled over and the couple found shelter in a small cavern area right off the road. He helped her walk slowly over the terrain, often stopping to allow her to focus through the contractions. She clung to him, her body shaking uncontrollably, her teeth chattering.
Sweat beaded her forehead as she concentrated, each contraction coming stronger. The woman grunted and moaned in the midst of her labor pains and even began begging the man to relieve her of the pain.
"Oh please! PLEASE! Just make it stop!" she would cry and he was helpless to do anything for her. They finally reached the mouth of the cavern where they would stay until the baby had come. She began to feel immense pressure. She stood, leaning against a cavern wall, swaying her hips in order to relieve the pain. The pressure came more intently and she knew without even knowing that it was time to push.
She squatted. As she bore down the baby crowned and Joseph caught the little one before He could hit the ground. Mary reached out to take the cold, crying infant into her arms to her breast and wrapped Him in swaddling clothing. Mary's own joyful crying joined the infant's until they both quieted to stare at one another. The afterbirth was delivered and wrapped in a cloth as Mary nursed her brand new baby.
Awhile later the couple looked around but found nowhere else to lay Him for the night except for an animal trough where animals drank and ate. As Joseph and Mary finished cleaning up the blood and birth mess the sweet infant lay quietly alert in the manger until His eyes drowsily closed in sweet slumber.
It's so easy to read Bible stories and feel detached from them. The above is my own fictional take on what may or may not have happened at the birth of Jesus (who was, historically, a real person whether you believe Him to be the Messiah or not). I wanted to bring to life to you the story of His coming into the world.
I'm not big on Mary-worship. This isn't to glorify her. But having recently given birth I couldn't help but wonder about her experience. She was a virgin, she had never experienced anything like this and as far as I recall from history they just didn't talk about birth in those days. Not to mention Mary was most likely a young teen girl, probably between 14-16 years old.
My favorite Christmas song is "What Child is This" and I also really love "Mary Did You Know?" Those songs just give me chills. Some lines that really stand out to me:
"Mary did you know that the Child that you delivered will soon deliver you?"
"And when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God..."
Ooh, don't you get chills?
Daniel's father, our pastor, has been talking about the Wise Men who came from afar to see the Christ Child and bring Him gifts. I couldn't help but wonder what they, too, were thinking as they gazed upon His infant face. He was to be their Savior and yet he was only just a newborn baby. Can you imagine the stillness as they approached the cave? The humility of these elders bowing before a rooting newborn?
I hope that this season and every season the reality of His birth, death and resurrection are real to you and not just words on a page... I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!