Listen to this devotional:
Like most young lasses of my generation, when I gave birth to both my children, I was blessedly fortunate to be surrounded by professional help, very well cared for, and loved by family. My firstborn was born in hospital; the second in my mother's home.
It was so very different for Mary, the mother of the Messiah, the Son of God, Saviour of the world.
Luke 2:4-7 – And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 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. (KJV)
Here is the delicate beauty of our Saviour's birth. Come to pass was the great pronouncement stated by the angel Gabriel: the holy One, conceived miraculously by the Holy Spirit of God, was born of Mary from Nazareth. Mary had surrendered herself to God; she consented willingly for her womb to become the tabernacle of the Messiah.
Joseph also surrendered to God. He consented to care for and guard Mary passionately with his life. They both had awesome faith and trust in God to bring about His Word and mission through them.
The Messiah, our Saviour, was born in a meagre enclosure: no palace, no dwelling place, no caravan, no hostelry, no room. Jesus was born outside, and outside of every kind of the most humble of shelters, born and laid in some bleak outbuilding. Born He was, though.
It was the most stupendous event in any decade, century, or millennium of the history of humanity. The glory, the wonder of Jesus' birth was and is no less for where it took place, though no baby could ever be born in a lower place.
It was piteous, but oh, so beautiful, and positively heroic, on Mary's part. When she, in her womanhood, should have been surrounded by the tenderest care, she was alone, apart from Joseph. It was she with her own hands who wrapped her newborn, her firstborn in swaddling clothes. The Bible gives no indication of any woman relative, friend, or official midwife or doctor, attending to do for her or for her baby. She did for herself and her son. She was indeed, blessed among women, and highly favoured with God's grace at this glorious time.
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for Mary's heroic faith in giving birth to Jesus, the Messiah. We join the hosts of heaven in praise and worship as we celebrate the birth of our beloved Saviour, the Christ, who brings to us all hope of Your kingdom, and who confronts all ages to bring us peace — the glorious peace of salvation and eternal life. Thank You, Ancient of Days, God our Father, Lord Jesus our Master, Messiah. Amen and Amen.