Krista’s essay on why she doesn’t do Christmas prompted reader Jeff Jackson to share this video on the Advent Conspiracy. It’s well done.
Often we dress up this scene for our window displays and ornaments in the holiday season, but the reality is that Christ was born in harrowing, difficult circumstances. It seems the elephant in the room- yes, Away in A Manger and all, but we never really stop and think about the larger implications of Christmas.
Think about this. Mary is a young wife, pregnant by a means understood by few, and is on the run with her husband from a law that could place the boy’s life in jeopardy. She is expecting to give birth in a time with no medicine, no doctors, no safety net to protect her but for the grace of God. Instead, attending her are the stable-animals, noisy, unsanitary, etc. etc.
The birth is painful. God said just as much in Genesis, to Eve. And yes, they received gifts that night, yes. But imagine in Mary and Joseph’s shoes, to receive the objects associated with burial upon the difficult birth of a child.
Those seem like pretty heavy shoes to fill now. I wonder if there was a reason why Jesus was born here. He could’ve been born into the household of a king, of a judge, of a rich man that would have had the best medical equipment possible.
But that’s not how it went. And that’s not how it goes for so many children born into the world. And each time I am reminded of them by God and those brothers/sisters I follow Him with, I strive to work harder on His behalf.