When I think of Christmas, I always think of the first Christmas so many years ago. I still wonder at all that happened that first Christmas night. The birth of Jesus, the appearance of the angels, the shepherds making their way to the stable are all told to us in the scriptures. But what of things that are not written? What was it like in the stable, and even in the city of Bethlehem? Was it cold, snowy, and quiet? Were the animals quiet and peaceful, or did they watch and sense the wonder of this very special event? Did Mary have someone to help in the birth of her first child? I like to think the innkeeper’s wife came and brought a midwife. It seems I can almost smell the hay and feel the wonder and peace that covered the city that night.

I heard a song recently that added to my wondering thoughts. The song mentions a young virgin girl holding Heaven’s King. It asks the question, as she feeds her baby, does Mary know she is holding the bread of life?

I know all that happened that first Christmas was according to God’s plan. It was all prophesied many years before. I am so thankful that Mary and Joseph were willing to surrender to God and do as the angel said, even though they did not understand completely. I am thankful that Jesus, though He was God, was willing to come to earth, being born in a stable, living the life that He did, and finally dying on a cross for the sins of the world. He died for me.

As I think of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, I think of Mary and the joy she experienced in raising the Son of God. I think too of the pain she endured when He was ridiculed and rejected, then as she watched Him die on the cross. Yet I know she was never alone, for God was with her through it all.

The wonder of Christmas is a blessing we can enjoy all year.

Published in the Countryside Baptist Church bulletin December 20,2015.