Monday, 24 December 2012

The Nativity: an Extraordinarily Ordinary King

It was an ordinary evening.
I was folding Abba’s clothing and packing them neatly into their place. My hand found a robe that looked exactly like the one Joseph was wearing the other day and I smiled fondly
How long till we are married?
My hands trembled with excitement as I tried to shake away the thoughts and focus on the task at hand. There was grain to winnow, bread to make, water to be fetched…
I heard the laughter of the children out on the street as they ran around without a care in the world
Has it been so long since I ran like that? With careless abandon?
“Oh Mary! That your mind would stay in this room!” I said aloud to quieten my restless mind. Just as the silence erupted, a light radiantly shines behind me and I willed my mind to focus on the clothes I was folding. In my heart, I thought my mother had just entered the room and the light from outdoors had poured in.
“Greetings, favoured woman! The Lord is with you!”
I know with a deadening certainty that that is not my mother voice or Abba’s voice. My heart thuds in my chest as I whirl to face a being. He was shining just as much as I was trembling.
Is not the Lord with all of us?
My feet were trembling before this…being!
Is this the Lord, my King?
“Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!”
Fear gives way to excitement as my unsteady legs finally give way and I crumble into the chair I had recently vacated.
The prophecy is coming to pass! Finally Israel will be free! I have been chosen to bear my God, my King, my Creator! He chose me!  He CHOSE me! I will carry my God in my womb…but wait…
“But how can this happen? I…I am a virgin”
Does God not KNOW that I am simply betrothed? Or does this messenger speak to the wrong woman?
I daresay a smile tasted his lips before he said “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
My heart warms and my joys bubbles over as the angel departs. I shall not think of the manner in which I will break the news to my Abba of what I have just seen, or to Joseph. All my thoughts are for Elizabeth!
Elizabeth is with child!

You would think that after a glorious revelation at the beginning of my pregnancy that I would be buffeted with royalty when delivery was upon me but no, my King was born to me and by me(and terrified Joseph) in…a stable.
Where is God in the stench of this barn?! Will the God of all Creation be laid in a wooden trough?!
I worry. Joseph worries with me and there is no comfort elsewhere. The inn manager helped as much as he could to deliver our…King seeing as he could no offer a room.
There is no room for God. Could God not have made room for himself?!
A promise that dangled enticingly before my eyes a few months ago leaves me with a helpless babe in my arms and a terrified husband. Joseph has suffered enough for me
My heart is as heavy as the stench of the barn. There has been a mistake. Or has there…?
There is nothing majestic about this babe. There is nothing glorious about his body. Just a few minutes ago, his cries rent the air of the manger and woke the animals. Now he lies sleeping as the animals watch with rapt attention.
Yet, there is something about this night. The people in the inn have come to see the babe…to see their King. Shepherds came bearing news of angels, rejoicing stars and sheep. Wise men came bearing expensive gifts for the babe. Gifts belonging to a King…
They saw a star in the East!
I will never forget this night…this night that I see my King face to face. The night my King’s very ordinary fingers curl around my finger! How can I forget the night that God became a baby boy, the night that the Creator of all stepped out of the glory of Heaven and into my poor, ordinary world. He stepped out of His majesty into the body of a babe. The Holy One came to the earth He created in a barn, in a wooden trough he lay.
Who would have thought Our God would come to us in a barn?! The place we least expect
The God of all Creation could have left my world uninterrupted but He chose to come down and save me…save us. My heart is overwhelmed with joy in the Lord, my God!
Immanuel! God is with us! God is here! 


  1. I love this! I like the way u presented Mary's perception of the conception of Christ. Nativity we can easily relate with...

  2. It must have been an exciting(and frightening) thing to be the mother of God. I thought I'd look at the story we all skim over with new eyes. I left humbled. Thanks for dropping by!