While the origins of this particular nativity have been forgotten, it is a smaller piece and so often stays up in our home throughout the year. To me, is it a special reminder of God’s care and love in all of our lives. Obviously, God cared for Mary and Joseph as they sought a place to welcome the baby Jesus into this world. God also cares for us. While not a Christmas carol, I can’t help but sing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” when I reflect on this scene. Indeed, God’s providential care is for all of us and throughout our lives; from birth to death.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
Loving God, we are grateful for the ways You guide each of us in our daily lives, but in particular, we celebrate the way You guide those who have served as parents to us. Help us to seek to do Your will and to follow Your ways this day. Amen.