Monday, December 21 – Real Birth

And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.   Luke 2:6-7

Silent Night is a beautiful song, but I don’t know if it is very accurate. I really doubt that, on the first night, all was calm.

Jesus was born. Think about it. Mary must have had some idea that the birth was imminent. Mary and Joseph were probably intent on getting to their destination because they didn’t want to have to deliver a baby on the open road.

In our modern age of hygiene and antiseptic conditions, we cannot comprehend a baby being born in a stable. Dirt, animals, dung, disease, and who knows what else were in that stable. It was not clean by any stretch of the imagination. Yet this is where God chose for the birth to happen.

We don’t have any explanation of how Jesus was delivered. Was there anyone else present besides Mary and Joseph? The text doesn’t say. No one knows, but we do know that Jesus was born.

Jesus was a baby, not a robot. He probably did things babies normally do. I am sure he slept, but he also cried, had to be changed, and generally kept his parents awake, as most babies do.

This can be shocking to those who first hear it. Barbara Robinson, in her book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, relates how the unchurched Herdmans reacted to the story – “They tied him up and put him in a feedbox. Where was the child welfare?”

God has a way of doing things differently, challenging our preconceived notions of how events should happen. None of us would have thought up this way for Jesus to be born, none except for God. But Jesus was a real baby, born in a real stable, to a real, poor couple who trusted that God was going to do something amazing through his birth. And God did. Christ, the Savior, was born.

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