I’ll never forget walking back into the delivery room after my wife received her spinal block. My son was on the way. I was proud and excited and anxious but I was not prepared for the sights and sounds of the delivery room. I remember the doctor asking if I wanted to help and for the first thirty minutes or more, I opted to stand at the head of the hospital bed, offering encouragement and letting my wife nearly squeeze my hand numb.
Joseph and his very pregnant wife took a long road trip to pay the IRS. Stargazing hippies were following something like a UFO, hoping for incredible news. When Mary and Joseph finally arrived, there was no food in the deep freeze, and the hotel was at capacity.
Jesus wasn’t born in a cheap motel, or a stranger’s bedroom. The Savior was born to an unwed, pregnant teenage girl in a stable, echoing with the sounds of farm animals. It must have smelled terrible. This was not the triumphant arrival the Jews hoped for. Only three people even noticed the birth of Christ. They showed up later with gold, frankincense and myrhh. I bet Mary and Joseph were hoping for moose and halibut too, but you take what you can get when your baby was just born in a barn.
Sounds pretty chaotic, right?
Christmas is nearly here and if you take a look around your own stable, you may find some chaos, maybe a few asses, too.
Do you ever read a familiar scripture and see something new?
It happens to me from time to time… And it happened when I read that Herod ordered all the baby boys to be killed. All of them two years old or younger. Little baby boys… Who had just started their lives. Little baby boys who were their daddy’s pride and their mommy’s heart.
Peace is an assurance that in the midst of hell breaking loose: shootings in Paris and Colorado Springs, war in Syria and acts of terrorism each time we turn on the television, God remains. God is not being terrorized. Heartbroken, definitely. But not uncertain or afraid. I think Heaven weeps, but God knows the beginning from the end. Peace says that things will get better one day. Our waiting will be worth it.