Inside the narrative of Jesus’ Birth is another story happening simultaneously but rarely spoken of, the story of Mary while in Bethlehem. Mary was a courageous and faithful woman of God. In Luke chapter 2, we find Joseph and Mary have arrived in Bethlehem to be counted in the census.
Unlike the current door to door or mail in census we do, back then people had to travel to their home town to be counted in the census. When Joseph and Mary arrived, there was no place for them to stay. Someone had mercy on them and they were allowed to stay in the filthy and smelly barn with the animals.
Mary being very far along in her pregnancy gave birth to baby Jesus in the barn and wrapped him in swaddling clothes. The only place to lay him down was in a manger box meant to feed the animals. It was not an ideal place to be born.
No, it was not a good situation. The shepherds came and the wisemen too. All with stories of angels and a star that led them to a baby king that was born. But what was Mary to do? The scripture tells us that she did not complain, or give Joseph a hard time. She did not complain to God for putting her in this situation. Mary was a strong woman.
(Luke 2:19) says, “But Mary treasured up all these things, and pondered them in her heart”. Mary took the time to think hard about everything that was happening and keep it down in her soul. Allowing God to use her as a servant for our savior from his birth until his death and resurrection. She had every right to be upset and want better conditions. She could have asked for more but Mary trusted God all the days of her life.
This week as you prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us remember Mary and celebrate by thinking on all the things that Jesus has done for us. Let us ponder it in our hearts.
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Pastors Willie and June R. McIntosh
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