We have a full schedule today, so I am posting early.
There's a favorite Christmas song of mine, Mary's Boy Child, by Boney M. It's a Caribbean song if you've never heard it, although it's really popular on the radio in our town. It's a happy song about the whole Christmas story, but this part always gets me:
"So then they found a little nook
in a stable all forlorn,
And in a manager
cold and dark
Mary's little boy was born."
It doesn't really matter what you believe about Jesus. Historians know he lived. And on this day (although I know the actual date may have been different, but his is the day we celebrate) Mary went into labor.
I had a baby boy not so long ago. In a hospital. Surrounded by light, medical professionals, medicine. It's tough enough to have a baby in modern times with modern methods.
I can't imagine what it must have been like for a 14-year-old girl, scared, without help, in a stinking, dirty animal shelter. No nurses, no doctors, no light. Just pigs and cows and a donkey for company. No bed, just straw on the ground. How hard it must have been, how scary. Poor Joseph, there but probably without knowledge of how to help her.
So today, the day before we celebrate Jesus, let's think of his parents and their struggles to get their little baby here. Theirs was a tough road.