I'm going to go with this for a while - I like the heading Kate found for me, she gave me several choices which communicated this blog and this is the one I landed on. Now...about today...
It's Charlie's birthday! 57. Happy Birthday to Charles.
He was born in 1952 in Gulf Port, Mississippi. His parents brought him home to 3 siblings, Guy Neil who was about 5, Mike who was about 3, and Amanda who was...are you ready?....11 months! That would be almost like if Ann was bringing home a baby right now from the hospital to join Andrew, Luke and Ellie. I ponder that and am amazed...regarding his mom, especially...and that all of that.
And speaking of babies and not-so-easy circumstances...I also ponder the fact that Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem with Mary riding a donkey, and she was due to deliver the Son of God clothed in flesh. But for her, she was due to deliver a baby - seems like that would have been the bigger reality to her at the moment. But I'm thinking as Elizabeth thinks who lives in the 21st century and I haven't heard a distinct voice of God's angel telling me about the Savior to be born. I just don't know what all was going on with them - and the angel did confirm it with Joseph who did not appear to be believing Mary's story about God telling her she was "with child, born of God", since he was planning to break off the "betrothal" quietly - but the regular people of their community didn't get that message. It had to have been that only a minority of people trusted her story. God's the male parent of her baby?? The whispering that must have "gone on". So to ride that donkey, pregnant, with Joseph walking beside her - and all their relatives going to the same place to be "counted" - and then no place to stay - she had to have felt early labor signals going on. There's a lot to consider in this story and I don't think we get the full picture. We've glamorized everything - even if we do put Christ back in Christmas - still we fluff it up a bit - and we shape him into an innocent baby which he was - very baby and very pure - even as a man he was pure because He was God.
Still - Mary - Joseph - Jesus about to be born - Donkey Ride - No place to stay - Crowded streets - animals everywhere - unpleasant scents - cows - sheep - donkeys - hay - troughs which we call a manger - swaddling clothes - so that tells us she traveled with preparations to deliver a baby in case. No pampers - No wipes - no desitin - no sterile medical scissors to cut the cord - what did they use? How did they clean up and dispose of stuff - No warming lights - how did they clean up the baby Jesus after he was delivered? How did they travel with so many cloths for cleaning and swaddling - I guess the donkey carried their packs and Mary. Wow. Thinking about all of that. So glad the Son of God had His mother's warm body for heat and milk to feed Him and Joseph to take care of both of them. (I forget that we're not positive about the climate and season at the time of His actual birth) And the Sovereign God/Father Who had thousands of angels and the Holy Spirit - well - the Trinity was there protecting and guarding and overseeing. All the Creator of the Universe was present in that stable.
I haven't looked up scripture for all of this - I'm just going on my feeble memory - so there are probably facts I'm leaving out or twisting. Still - infinitely beyond our grasp regarding the conception and birth and life and death of Jesus, the Son of God.