beginning, now unfolding on the road south from Nazareth.
Mary was “great with child” (Luke 2:5) as they traveled. We can only imagine how uncomfortable, unsettled, uneasy she felt. Where will my child be born, Lord? I am certain he will survive, but will I? Though Joseph has no recorded dialogue in Scripture, he no doubt encouraged his young bride, mile after difficult mile. I heard from an angel too, Mary. I know whose child you carry. I will care for you and keep you both safe.
A few miles beyond Jerusalem, the town of Bethlehem finally came into view. Nine months of expectation were over. Time for the Christ child to appear.
Read Luke 2:1–20
In a grotto beneath the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a silver star marks the traditional site where Jesus was born. But two thousand years ago, his birthplace looked nothing like this.
Mary labored in a lowly stable, and laid the Son of God in a feed trough meant for livestock. However fresh the hay, there was nothing clean about the place, nothing pleasant, nothing fragrant.
Even so, God came to us. Cast his lot with us. Became one of us.
“She gave birth to her firstborn, a son” (Luke 2:7). A handful of words, as simple and humble as her surroundings. Mary wrapped him in strips of cloth, cocooned him in linen, and held him close.
Surely she wiped away tears of joy and relief, kissed his brow with trembling lips, counted his fingers and toes, then took him to her breast.
Everything about this birth was both ordinary and extraordinary.
The Son of God wasn’t born to a princess; he was born to a poor, uneducated young girl. His first bed wasn’t covered in gold; it was stained with dung. He didn’t come in power; he came as a helpless newborn...
...Mary had treasure on earth: the Son of God, nestled in her arms. We have an even greater treasure: the Spirit of God, residing in our hearts. He is the One who urges us to value what is truly valuable, and let go of things that aren’t treasure at all, but trash. Disposable, unnecessary.
An interesting lesson for the Christmas season, isn’t it? While we spend, spend, spend on gifts that are quickly forgotten, neglected, discarded, the Lord is gently reminding us, “The gift that matters is my Son, who came to earth with nothing.”
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12/3/2017 10:17:05 pm
Powerful reminder of the gift of C hristmas. And heart touching to think of a young mother in a barn, and her uncomfortable journey to Bethlehem. Sometimes the journey God has us take is uncomfortable but the end He has planned is worth it.
12/4/2017 08:56:37 am
What caught my attention in this blog is the reminder that Mary was an uneducated girl. He chose simple, lived simply, but loved and died extravagantly. There was nothing this world could give Him, but He gave everything!
12/4/2017 10:35:14 am
In this season of Advent, it's good to be reminded of the beginning of the story. Our thoughts are directed to the real reason we celebrate. Congratulations, your name has been entered into the Refresh Breakaway 2018 drawing!
12/4/2017 08:13:05 am
Great to be reminded that the only real treasure on this earth is Jesus.
12/4/2017 10:36:54 am
And we seem to need that reminder especially at this busy time of year. Congratulations, your name has been entered in the Refresh Breakaway 2018 drawing.
12/4/2017 08:37:19 am
What a blessing!!
12/4/2017 10:38:21 am
You're right, it is a blessing! One to hold on to, not only at Christmas, but all throughout the year. Congratulations, your name has been entered in the Refresh Breakaway 2018 drawing!
12/4/2017 09:31:32 am
It’s amazing to me that Mary went through all of this with no earthly person around who had ever experienced this. She must have felt so alone. Even broken. But through the breaking of Mary, she found what her true calling or purpose in life was! I want to have the courage she had to endure to the end whatever hand I’m dealt so as not to miss what might be my greatest purpose.
12/4/2017 10:41:30 am
Courage! A muscle to be developed that has to be used. Congratulations, you have been entered in the Refresh Breakaway 2018 drawing!
12/4/2017 10:32:00 am
As a mother, it is so easy to relate to Mary and her wonder at this newborn in her arms. Just imagine that little snuggle and tender kiss she laid upon His brow. Such sweet love for a mother to her son and to her God, all in one!
12/6/2017 10:42:00 am
Incomprehensible, isn't it! Holding God in her arms in the form of a little baby. Congratulations! You have been entered in the Refresh Breakaway 2018 drawing.
12/4/2017 12:09:24 pm
The thing I think about with the story is that Mary and Joseph went to where Joseph was from and it was more than likely FAMILY that turned him away for lodging (God's plan into action) so that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born in the most lowly of places. It shows me how much God's ways are NOT our (my) ways.
12/6/2017 10:43:58 am
Congratulations! You have been entered in the Refresh Breakaway 2018 drawing.
12/5/2017 07:00:28 am
I am continually fascinated with the concept of God makin Himself vulnerable to mankind by sending his son as a baby, completely helpless, and in the full care of Mary and Joseph. In her book “Daring Greatly,” Dr. Brene Brown researches wholeness and finds that intimacy is achieved only through vulnerability. With this thought, Christ’s birth reveals the Father’s great desire for intimacy with us. Amazing!
12/6/2017 10:46:58 am
And free choice was in the world. How many different ways could it have gone? Congratulations! You have been entered in the Refresh Breakaway 2018 drawing.
12/5/2017 09:35:15 am
I want to answer the 2 questions Liz posed at the end of her article.
12/6/2017 10:53:10 am
Such rich insight! Congratulations! You have been entered in the Refresh Breakaway 2018 drawing.
12/5/2017 08:39:36 pm
Excellent and timely word!
12/6/2017 10:54:24 am
Rebekah, need your last name so we can enter you into the drawing.
12/6/2017 10:34:51 am
Being a mother myself, I can only imagine how she felt. Exhilaration yet wonder of this birth and the future.
12/6/2017 10:57:05 am
Yes, we mothers can relate to Mary's amazement at the birth of her child. Congratulations! You have been entered in the Refresh Breakaway 2018 drawing.
Annette Ver Woert
12/7/2017 11:47:15 am
How easy it is to fly through the familiar story but how this thoughtful insight into the minds & hearts of Joseph & Mary makes me wonder as a mom and a first time mom for Mary!!! these weren't ideal situations but. . . Mary had a incredible prophetic response after being told of what would be required of her as a young woman. May we have a Mary heart not only in this season but in every day until He returns being in awe of who He is!
12/8/2017 07:30:37 pm
Isn't that what Advent is all about...being in awe of who He is until the day of His return? We get a special yearly reminder of what we need to remember every day. Congratulations! You are entered in the Refresh Breakaway 2018 drawing.
12/10/2017 06:53:47 am
My favorite part was this, "Even so, God came to us. Cast his lot with us. Became one of us." He truly is Emmanuel, God with us. That's just how relatable God is and closely he desires to he with us.
12/18/2017 09:49:25 am
Such a great reminder! I try to remind my son of this often. He gets so excited about the presents part of christmas but he does know what really matters! I'll say "yeah thats cool but what's the coolest part of Christmas?" And he will always say "Jesus". I pray he grows up to always say that Jesus is the most important part of Christmas
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