The Birth of Jesus
We’ve heard these stories many times. It’s easy to rush past the details. In fact, the Gospel writers write them in such an understated manner: “she gave birth.” Our task as modern readers is to imagine the scene, to picture the mix of excitement and fear that must have accompanied this miraculous birth, and to realize the vulnerability and lowliness with which Jesus—our Creator and Sustainer—entered the world to be with us and redeem us.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
On coming to the house, [the Magi] saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
As much as you are able, allow yourself, by your imagination to enter these scenes of Jesus’ birth. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel about Mary and Joseph as you watch them? What do you notice about Jesus?
God, I can only say thank You. The lengths that You went through to demonstrate Your love for us stuns me as I reflect on these stories. Jesus, the Eternal Son, who had all the riches of heaven, the community enjoyed within the Trinity, and complete freedom from natural laws, subjected Himself to the confines of the human body and existence, becoming vulnerable and weak. All of this so that humanity—myself included—would be returned to You and abide in Your love and presence again. May my heart be forever grateful and surrendered to you. Amen.
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