Today I think of dear sweet, wise, beautiful and faithful Mary. I imagine her on the night of Jesus’ birth, wandering with Joseph and a donkey, in labor, trying to find a place to give birth to the precious babe she held in her womb. She knows in her heart that this is God’s own son so she wants to bring Him forth into the world but as they wander through the town knocking on doors, they can find no one who will welcome them. She must be thinking, “If only you knew who was to be born, you would gladly open your homes and bring out all your best linens and gifts,” but she remains silent, in pain, with these thoughts held deep in her heart. Joseph, an ever faithful servant, must also be full of worry. He tries to be brave for Mary and continues on his mission to find a place for Mary to give birth.
Finally, someone shows a glimmer of compassion and points them to a stable. It is warm and dry, it will have to do. Mary and Joseph enter in and participate in the greatest moment of connection between humanity and divinity – Christ’s birth. They are the only ones to witness it except for the animals who cannot speak to tell others of the event. In quiet humility, unannounced and without glory and honor, our dear Lord, our creator of heaven and earth, our maker of all living things, our redeemer, our savior, our dear triune God, is born into the body of a human as Jesus.
I cannot imagine what is in Mary’s heart at that moment. I cannot imagine what Joseph must be feeling. There are no trumpets blasting, no hymns of praise, no music in the stable, only the sound of a newborn babe, the snort of a humble donkey, the stomp of whatever beasts are in the stable and the shifting of hay from under their feet. There is no sweet smell of incense lifting prayers to heaven. Our Lord’s first smells are the pungent odors of the very things He created – the animals and the grasses and hays they eat. The glorious music is only heard in heaven. This was God’s perfect will and desire and Mary and Joseph thankfully participated in making this happen just as God willed it.
Lord, You chose the people You knew would be loyal and faithful to make Your will be done. Joseph was the support and help to Mary that she needed. Mary was Your perfect handmaiden who simply said, “Let it be done unto me.” Thank You Lord for showing me how to say yes to Your will through Mary’s example. Thank You Lord for showing me how Mary was able to dispel doubt and to trust in You. Thank You Lord for showing me how to be humble, not only in accepting Your will, but also by revealing to me Your ultimate humility to dwell in the body of one of Your creations, though beloved by You, but much less than how Your divine spirit exists. Thank You Lord from the depths of my soul. I give You the only gift I have to give – all of my love for You.