No .08 The Nativity
So, we are well and truly on the run up to Christmas now, maybe you have got your tree all sorted or perhaps you just don’t do the decorations routine.
Maybe, when you started this series of blogs, the last thing you expected to see was ‘the nativity’ in this list of action moments. But this really is an incredible story, which I think our Christmas cards today do a terrible job of capturing!
The tension into which Jesus was born is incredible, with a horrific infant genocide just a moment away ordered by a mad king. The people of God had not really heard anything from God in, well, hundreds of years. There was so much waiting, expectation and hoping for the messiah, the saviour to come, but nothing, just silence.
But unbeknown to just about everyone a bloke entered a dark night in his own life. Joseph wrestling with the grief of a pregnant wife he hadn’t slept with, was silently working out his exit plan without bringing shame and death to Mary, the cheat.
She had spoken of a dream, a vision and a baby, the messiah! I think for a lot of men they would applaud her creativity and show her the door. Joseph was a decent bloke and God sent a messenger to reassure his heart and trust in his wife.
Together they set out to register themselves due to a census, talk about bad timing. They look for a place to rest but there is nothing. I know how frustrated I get when I have organised a trip and the accommodation has ended up being somewhat lacking. Imagine having your wife in labour and then your plans unravel!
They grab the only place they can, a cave-like hovel where animals feed. There Mary gives birth to a son. Now I have been at the births of all 3 of my children, it is a harrowing experience in lots of ways and this is in the safety and sanitised environments we are blessed with. Imagine how it was for Mary and Joseph.
“Sunken eyes that are dark with a mixture of fear, hope, exhaustion and expectation.”
Jesus is born and the parents must both be exhausted. Joseph might have started working out how to get home, sorting some food, blankets. I would have busied myself.
Just imagine for a moment the faces of Mary and Joseph.
Sunken eyes that are dark with a mixture of fear, hope, exhaustion and expectation. Hands caked dirty with mud and blood, skin cracked and cold. Hair matted and greased up from being on the road without decent facilities to wash and restore themselves. Faces cold to the night wind, confusion and anticipation etched on their young faces. Standing there holding this miracle child, looking at one another almost in disbelief at not only the human gift of life but the purpose and mission this child has been given. Pondering on the gifts given to their new baby of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.
Gold of great value, frankincense for a king, and myrrh commonly used for embalming the dead. What must they have been thinking?
The nativity for me needs some recapturing, away from the snowy Christmas cards of halo wearing individuals. Sheep smiling whilst considering the crib where Jesus was laid, shedding no tears just an angelic smile looking up.
This story was raw, real and some aspects to it are brutal and desperate. This is full of hope and a moment that the world groaned for. God with us, Immanuel. He has pitched his tent amongst us.
What an adventure, God’s son sent to us, not some statue to bow to or picture to send our prayers to. We got his son, in the flesh. He knows our pain, struggle and trial. He knows when you get up and when you rest. He knows the day you were born and the day your earth suit will give you up.
Image Credit: Word for WORD Bible Comic
The Word for WORD Bible Comic is a historically accurate, unabridged and untamed graphic novel of the Bible with a high view of Scripture.