(The final week of the Christmas story from Mary’s perspective. Merry Christmas!)
The pain gripped me with such force that a small sob escaped my lips. Joseph had settled me onto a bed made of straw, and was watching me with wide eyes. I knew I had to be brave for his sake. The terror in his eyes was evident, and I did not want the birth of a child we would raise together to be a bad experience.
After breathing through the pain for several hours, I knew the time had come. God’s Son would be born tonight, in a stable filled with animals and dirt. As the baby’s head appeared, the pain could not keep the joy off my face. Although I had feared this day for nine months, I no longer felt inept. Having attended many births in Nazareth helped. I knew what to expect, but the miracle of life was even more amazing when it was my own child being born.
“Joseph! He’s almost here!” I cried in excitement. Joseph ran to my side, grabbed my hands and offered his support while I brought Jesus into the world. An infant’s cry pierced the silent night and I looked up to see Joseph holding the baby. The wonder and love in his eyes made me weep with joy and I thought back to the miraculous events that had led up to the birth of Jesus.
Joseph handed the child to me, and I could see tears trickling down his cheeks.
Never had I known my husband to weep! His happiness was evident to me, and I, too wept when I looked at my child’s perfect face and body. I tore linens into strips and swaddled him. Bringing him close to my heart I whispered, “Jesus, you are born this night into a world filled with darkness. Yet you have brought light!”
At that very moment, a light pierced the surrounding darkness. Looking through the slats of the stable, I saw a star, brighter than all the rest twinkling in the heavens. I laid my baby in the manger, an inadequate bed for the Son of Adonai, yet felt a peace when I watched the face of my newborn slowly drift off into sleep.
A knock outside shattered my reverie, and Joseph got up to see who came. Three finely dressed men walked in carrying gifts for the baby. The baby! How had they known? A laugh bubbled softly within me. Most likely because of their faith in a coming Messiah, of course!
Another knock led a bewildered Joseph to let in several shepherds who had heard from the angels that the Messiah had just been born. As I watched the grown men gaze upon my beautiful baby, I knew that this was the happiest night of my life. Although I was not sure I would be a good mother, I had no doubt that I loved my baby more than words could express.
After our evening guests had left, I watched Joseph pick up Jesus with a tenderness I did not know he possessed.
“Mary, he’s beautiful,” Joseph whispered, tears threatening to spill over once more. I nodded and placed my hand on his. He looked at me with more love then I had ever seen before, and I knew that he would be a good father.
Jesus was brought into the world that night to a poor family of Nazareth, and yet I knew that God had special plans for him, plans that would make him more special than anyone else on earth. God chose me, a young girl, to mature into a woman so that He could fulfill a mighty work: the birth of His Son.
That night would live in a special place in my heart, and no one could ever take away the joy I felt at bringing that small babe into the world.
2 years ago