The Classic Nativity, December 23, 2011

My Nativity

The classic nativity scene; Mary, Joseph, the ox, the sheep and baby Jesus lying in the manager with a smile upon his newborn face. I wonder though how this scene really played out in history.

Poor Mary had to have been exhausted from a journey that seemed like a lifetime to the be counted in the census. She was dusty and dirty from the road, 9 months pregnant and likely having labor pains much of the journey. She probably just wanted a comfortable blanket to lie upon and rest. Yet, no one gave her a room. Instead she was shown to a stable filled with the smell of common animals and itchy hay beneath her already heavy back. Then it happened she physically gave birth to the son of God. But how much did she really understand about Jesus Christ at that point? She had to have been nervous giving birth to her first child with no one to help her but Joseph. Although an angel had visited her and told her she would be the mother of God, she was only 15, how much did she understand? She had to have felt the pains of birth and the fear that child birth can bring. I feel sure after he was born she held him in her arms and fell in love, as many moms do, with that newborn baby. Her clothes were probably sweaty and wrinkled, her face red, her hair a mess, and her body physically exhausted from the birth. I doubt that she looked like the statue from this nativity because she was a human being. Yes, she was chosen by God but she was still only human.  Any woman that has gone through childbirth knows we don’t look that great when it is over.

The nativity is a cleaned up perfect image of the holy family. One we hold sacred. Just remember that Jesus Christ was 100% human and 100% divine and Mary was completely human. God chose well when He chose Mary; no matter how much we hold her in such high esteem we should remember she was human too. Mary, like us everyday moms, loved her baby not just because He was the savior of the world but because He was her baby. Mary, just like us moms most likely didn’t look so perfect that day but found her happiest moments in the humanity of the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.


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