Mary must have been beyond exhaustion by the time the little caravan finally, finally arrived at Bethlehem. I can hardly imagine how miserable poor exhausted laboring Mary must have been. The only place for Mary to give birth to her firstborn was in a stable, right next to the tired donkey that had carried her all this way.
Would you want to have your first child in some stranger’s barn, surrounded not only by animals but by more strangers?
I can imagine a lot. Still, it’s hard to imagine just how miserable Mary must have been, straining and sweating in her first labor with only Joseph to help her. But what I really can’t imagine is that this, this is how God chose to be born into humanity.
Maybe God was making a point in that choice of birth. No matter how sweaty and scared, no matter how oppressed or displaced or pushed around, no matter how miserable and alone and exhausted we can be, God is there. God has been there. God will always be there.
This message is an excerpt from a Women of the ELCA monthly devotion by Audrey Novak Riley. Today is Christmas Eve or the Nativity of Our Lord (I).