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Joseph had parked the donkey in front of the hotel, so he could go in and get a room. His teenage wife daydreamed as she waited for him to return.
To say the young lady was pregnant understated the case considerably. She was nine months, two weeks, miserable, heavy, stay-out-of-my-way-or-else pregnant. After several days of bumpy travel to get to Bethlehem, you didn’t want to mess with her (My theory is that the only thing more miserable than being a pregnant woman is being married to one).
Maybe it was a relief to her, though, knowing that she was going to have her baby somewhere far away from those dagger-tongued gossips. The last few months hadn’t been easy, and Mary had to admit to herself that her story was a bit hard to swallow: angel visits, a miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit, etc.
Happens all the time!
But she also remembered the day that the angel talked to her. She had been scared out of her wits but when he told her she was going to be the mother of the longed-for Messiah—the Son of God he called him– her heart swelled with joy. She always figured things like that were for the rich folks’ daughters, up in Jerusalem. No one seemed to expect much from the poor trash down in Nazareth.
Maybe God did, though.
And that day when she visited her cousin Elisabeth … if there ever was a woman of God, Elisabeth was. And when she prophesied about Mary’s baby: “ You’re so blessed among women, and the babe in your womb, also blessed! And why am I so blessed that the mother of my Lord visits me?” (Luke 1:42, 43, The Message)
A cow lowed lazily behind the inn as Mary continued her reflection. “Mother of her Lord?” She had been so inspired by Elisabeth’s prophecy, and wonder of wonders, she opened her mouth and was awed by the words that she spoke herself.
“ … I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.”
(Luke 1:46-55, The Message)
What a day!
And she thought about Joseph. She had been so scared to tell him. He was shaken of course, but eventually God spoke to him and after that he stepped up and became the best protector a woman could imagine. “Lord, you’ve taken care of me through all this,” she murmured as she looked up and saw Joseph coming towards her, a frown on his face.
Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain …
“For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.” (Isa. 9, the Message)
Have a super-blessed Christmas.
“If the [Incarnation] happened, it was the central event in the history of the Earth — the very thing that the whole story has been about. Since it happened only once, it is by Hume’s standards infinitely improbable. But then, the whole history of the Earth has also happened only once: is it therefore incredible?” C.S. Lewis