Luke 2:1-7 (KJV)
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
When I was in the hospital preparing to deliver my oldest son, the doctor came in with a concerned look on his face. “The baby is breech and in distress,” the doctor said, “We need to get him out right now. We need to perform a C-section.”
Trey and I thought we had hours to go, and this sudden news of a very quick delivery took us by surprise. Trey declared that he would go down and get our bags, and when the nurses told him there would be no time and he needed to don a gown in order to go with me into the delivery room, Trey became weak in the knees and had to sit immediately while the nurses brought juice to fortify him for the minutes ahead.
I imagine Joseph feeling the same way. His wife was ready to deliver the child, and the baby would come very soon. There was no place to stay, and when they finally found a place, it was a mere stable, a tiny room carved out for animals and their feed. What a surprise! What a cause for worry!
I’m sure he could have used some juice to fortify him for the moments to come!
Trey was weak at the thought of our son or of me being hurt or unsafe. I imagine Joseph felt the same way.
Still, the Christ-child came in the midst of strange, unlikely, and lowly circumstances. He came! Mary and Joseph new this baby was the Messiah, and his arrival must have been daunting.
I praise God for Mary and Joseph, and the difficulty they endured at the start of Jesus’ life.
Tradition holds that Jesus birth was followed by a few moments of still, quiet reverence. May we too be quiet for just a moment and take in the vast meaning of the birth of our savior.
Pray: Jesus, let me be still and know you are God. Amen