Oh, the wonder of it! The Holy Spirit overshadows the virgin Mary so that a holy child is conceived in her womb. For nine months the child develops in watery darkness to the soundtrack of Mary’s heartbeat and muffled voice. At last the time comes. The child emerges, takes urgent breaths, and cries aloud amid faces beaming with hospitality and love. Welcome to the world!
Now let’s just take this in. Who doesn’t adore a sweet newborn? Bright eyes gazing around. Coos erupting after long months of silence. Arms and legs stretching out in new freedom.
Think too of the helplessness and vulnerability of the sweet child. Then imagine that this little one is our great God. The Word has no vocabulary, the Almighty has no strength, the Wise One has no knowledge. The Lord of all is completely dependent on the comforting arms and nourishing care of mother Mary.
It’s a wonder that God would become helpless in order to help us. But it’s not that merely an infant is helpless while we who are grown up have things in hand. In the big, wide world around us, we are pretty helpless too. And all our hope depends on the help of the helpless baby, whose birth we celebrate today.
Jesus, you come into the world, and everything is changed—because you embraced helplessness to help the helpless. We praise you for your wonderful kindness. Amen.
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.