Saturday, December 8, 2018

Christmas Blessings: Joy

Luke 2:6-7
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.

Nine years ago on December 22, my daughter, Sara, labored for hours. In the hospital they kept a monitor on her as the labor pains ebbed and flowed. I sat close by and prayed this little one would arrive soon. And he did eventually come. She gave birth to Elijah Duncan, a beautiful baby boy. Joy overflowed from my heart when I held that sweet bundle.

Sara and James made their way to a hospital for Eli's birth. Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to the far away town of Bethlehem. No hospital, not even a room to stay in. Instead they rested in a cave used to shelter animals. And there, Mary gave birth to the Prince of Peace. The manger used as a feeding trough for the animals turned into a bed for the new born king. I've experienced childbirth, and I can tell you I wouldn't want to give birth in a cave for animals. But God made a way for Mary and Jesus to be safe and sound even among the sheep and cows.

I can imagine the joy in Mary's heart when she swaddled that sweet baby and held him tight. I wonder if she sang a lullaby to him before she placed him in the manger to rest. Jesus birth is a beautiful gift of redemption; the beginning of the joy the world can have if we trust in him. 
He truly is the reason for the season.

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