The Wonder of a Baby
It probably took Mary and Joseph nearly a week to travel the 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem due to Mary’s advanced pregnancy. Although the timing of the journey was inconvenient, perhaps it was a relief to get away from the wagging tongues at the village well and the old women who were counting the months on their fingers. Mary and Joseph were required to travel away from their hometown in order to register for the census that had been decreed by Caesar Augustus.
As Mary and Joseph entered Bethlehem, the streets were teeming with a mass of humanity. It was in those moments, while Mary was being jostled by the crowds, that she felt the first of her labor pains. Perhaps her water broke on the crowded street, wetting her garment and the donkey on which she was riding.
Did she quietly whisper while in pain, “Joseph! Please find a place for me to rest!”
Joseph found nothing more than a cave ... a barn ... a stable in which to prepare for the quickly approaching arrival of their Son.
The smelly stable was rife with manure and unkempt animals; the hard ground was saturated with the urine of the barnyard creatures and the clean hay was sparse. Cobwebs were drooping from the ceiling while a mouse or two scurried by in fear. The cows were munching on the pungent hay and sheep were sadly looking on as Mary labored and bled. It was into this putrid atmosphere of mankind that the Savior entered the world!
My heart stops as I picture the enchanted face of this teen-age mother meeting her baby Boy for the very first time! She was gazing into the face of God ... and He was looking back at her. God had wrapped his tiny hand around her finger and around her heart as well.
He was her Son ... yet her Lord. He was her Baby ... yet her Majesty.
Mary was spellbound not only by the ten tiny fingers and the ten miniature toes, but she was spellbound by the presence of God. Who did this little person look like? Did he have Mary’s father’s nose? Or did He display Joseph’s father’s ears? What we do know is that He came with the heart of God.
Mary could not take her eyes off of her baby Boy so great was her love for this heaven-sent Child. And the most amazing miracle of all was that He could not take His eyes off of his young mother, a specimen of the world that He came to save, so great was His love for mankind.
Don’t take your eyes off of the true meaning of Christmas. Know that when Jesus was born ... He was born for you. Allow the Baby in the manger to wrap His love around your heart.
Let There Be Joy In Me:
Make a list of the reasons why you believe that God sent His Son Jesus to the world.
As you ponder these reasons, now make a list of appropriate ways in the 21st. Century to celebrate the grand entrance of Jesus unto planet earth.
If this devotional has been an encouragement to you, would you consider giving a year-end gift to Just Joy! Ministries this Christmas season?