While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her child. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there wasn’t any room for them in the inn.
We all spend a lot of time waiting for Christmas. The kids have been religiously counting the sleeps until Santa comes. It’s a busy time, and I’m looking forward to my annual Christmas Afternoon Snooze! We enjoy the frantic pace, but be honest–how many of us enjoy the thought that Boxing Day is only around the corner?
Mary spent nine months waiting for Christmas. As any mother knows (so I’m told) that last month of a pregnancy seems to take forever. Add the trip to Bethlehem into the mix, and Mary could be excused if she got a little impatient.
The nation of Israel had waited for four hundred years for a sign that God cared. They had been faithful to their silent God, but the friendship was starting to wear a little thin. They were occupied by the Romans, their leaders were corrupt, and love for God had been replaced by ritual and empty formalism.
The promised Messiah seemed to be taking his time. Would Christmas never come?
In two short verses, Luke records that break in history. Mary’s time as the nervous but expectant young girl was over, and she was now a loving but inexperienced mother.
And Israel had received the Messiah that had been promised. Hope had come.
It may not seem like it, but God has some pretty good things in store for us. He promises to look after us, and he will deliver, even if it’s not the way we expect.
Have a blesséd and happy Christmas, and may the hope of the season not be lost for you.