Tuesday, December 23, 2014

~ "Interpretation..."

"And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:6-7)

There are so many parts to these two verses that leave me in awe!  I had four kids - they were each born in a hospital.  It was air conditioned in August, and heated in November, January and February. I was medicated to ease the pain.  The sheets were clean.  My children were bathed and diapered and wrapped in a soft blanket.  So much more different than the birth of our Savior.

As the story of Jesus' birth tells us, Mary did not have the luxury of "around the clock" nursing care.  She was not offered any pain meds and her bed was anything but soft and clean.  She gave birth and wrapped him up.  I'm sure she wiped him off, but she could not shower herself.  She was tired and then had to entertain guests - shepherds and their sheep.

In all of this, she didn't complain.  She knew full well who she had given birth to.  Her first born was like no other child who had ever been born before and there would never be another like him to follow.  His 4 brothers and 3 sisters would follow, however, even though Jesus was their older brother, they were not any different than any of us.  Many religions denounce the existence of these offspring of Joseph and Mary, but they are listed by name (James, Joses, Simon and Judas).

We all interpret the events in the Bible through the eyes of anyone reading any book.  There are many things we see differently, there are many things open to interpretation.  Two events, the birth of Jesus and the death of Jesus, are relatively free from interpretation - we believe what is written, what has been taught and what has been taught through the generations since these events took place.

The birth of Christ is a profound miracle that sets the stage for our redemption.  His birthday is celebrated in almost every country on December 25.  We imitate this by giving gifts to others, as we were given a gift that first Christmas morning.  Remember, though, when you open your gifts and they are not what you wanted, they were given with love, with thought and with joy - just as God's gift to us was!