Good Monday morning! Today we are not just in the season, but the very week of Christmas. We don't know the timing for sure, but today is one of those days when it is fun to do a little imagining. Joseph is leading the donkey with a very pregnant wife on board. He may be thinking dumb male things like: Broken water? How can you break water? The donkey of course is thinking, "Why am I all wet up there?" Mary just wonders how much further to Bethlehem. An innkeeper down the road is about to miss out on an incredible blessing. Some wise men are looking at the sky wondering why they have this feeling that something big is about to happen. The shepherds in the field have no clue at all that their wits are about to take a short journey into that place called Frightenedoutof. We don't know all these things, but we like to think what might have been going on just before the birth of our Lord and Savior.
Did the innkeeper ever have cause to regret not finding some way to make room? Did Herod have second thoughts about the slaughter of innocents? Did Joseph try to get away at the last minute - "There must be a room somewhere in this town! - only to find the hood of his robe in Mary's firm grasp? "Gaakkk! Guess I'll stay and make sure Mary isn't left alone." How many shepherds felt an urgent call of nature at a critical moment, then turned to find themselves surrounded by the glory of the Lord? Hmm, too many questions when the need is simply to enjoy the story just as it is.
All the players did their part just as God created them to do. Joseph may have worried, but God had the birth of His Son well in hand. Shepherds trembled, but the angel gave them a message of comfort and peace. Herod followed prophecy, but he still made his decision just as Pilate would some years later. In the Judean hill country, a six-month old baby may have pointed to Bethlehem, because John the Baptist knew who had arrived. Far away, the wise men took up preparations for a great journey. The Christ arrived in Bethlehem and immediately things began moving. What a wonderful story!Have a very merry Christmas!