Friday, December 9, 2011

Birth of a Baby

For several years it was my privilege to be a doula and midwife assistant, attending many births, including the birth of eight of my grandchildren. I was even privileged to "catch" three of my grandbabies! What a wonderful miracle is the birth of a baby! I know several women whose husbands have either delivered or assisted in the birth of their own children.

As we celebrate the birth of our Savior in the humble stable in Bethlehem, I wonder how Joseph and Mary felt. Did Mary have anyone to assist in the birth of Christ besides Joseph? We do not know. What we do know is that Joseph willingly took on the role of husband to Mary, though he was not the biological father of her Son.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. Matt. 1:18-25

Mary humbly and gratefully accepted her pregnancy and motherhood of the Son of God who would be her Savior.

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. Luke 1:46-55

Michael Card's song about Joseph pondering how he could be father to the Son of God has always been one of my favorites:

How could it be this baby in my arms
Sleeping now, so peacefully
The Son of God, the angel said
How could it be

Lord I know He's not my own
Not of my flesh, not of my bone
Still Father let this baby be
The son of my love

Father show me where I fit
into this plan of yours
How can a man be father to the Son of God

Lord for all my life I've
been a simple carpenter
How can I raise a king, How
can I raise a king

He looks so small, His face
and hands so fair
And when He cries the sun
just seems to disappear
But when He laughs it shines again
How could it be

May we also welcome and rejoice in God's gift to us, Jesus Christ, Lamb of God, our Savior, who was born to die for the sins of many. May we welcome all the little ones whom God places in our wombs, as Mary did. Our children are the heritage of the Lord, and His wonderful Blessings to our families.

May God richly bless you as this season reminds the whole world of Christ's birth!

Joy to the world-- the Lord is come!