Guest Blogger #4 Part II
By Jane Carlile Baker
Thanks to Caesar Augustus’s demand for a census, which Mary didn’t mind, since it rescued her from Nazareth, Mary and Joseph trod the same crowded road Mary had six months ago.
The donkey plodded along, and she recalled arranging her clothing to mask her expanding abdomen when she’d walked back into Nazareth after her visit with Elizabeth.
Mary planned to circle around Joseph’s house, but as she was about to, there he stood. Smiling.
“You know that angel?”
“I met him in a dream. He told me this incredible story’s true. The hundreds of years we’ve waited for our Messiah have ended. Right here, in Nazareth. And just so you know, it doesn’t surprise me one single jot that Yahweh picked you. I’m so sorry I didn’t believe you before. Forgive me?”
“Oh Joseph.” She’d run into his arms.
She’d begged to go with Joseph, though a wife could stay at home if she wanted. Only, she couldn’t stand the staring eyes and wagging tongues of Nazareth, or her parents’ shame, one more moment. Now the sunset as Joseph led their donkey into Bethlehem.
Ouch! What was that? Wait, was it the beginning of birth pains? They grew stronger as the couple came to each door where another innkeeper rebuffed Joseph.
Finally, an innkeeper who also claimed no rooms, seeing her endure a strong contraction, pointed to a stable behind his inn. “You can take her there.”
The Son of the Most High would be born in a stable? Not a palace? Not even a house? Yahweh, what are You doing?
You are rich in something more than gold and silver, Mary. I draw attention to what matters by where you birth My Son.
Joseph piled up clean straw for her, and when she’d accomplished Jesus’s birth, she gazed down into His eyes– His deep eyes held eternity, and love. God had done what He said He would do. Joseph took Him from her and laid Him in a manger where he’d arranged more clean straw. How could she mother God’s Son? How can I, Lord?
I will guide you. But you will make mistakes because you are human, and I am prepared for that.
Rough shepherds appeared and lingered at the entrance. “May we come in? An angel told us while we were keeping the temple sheep that our Savior is here in a manger.” They looked over at Jesus sleeping in His swaddling clothes.
Mary wondered again. No kings, prophets, priests, or warriors–just shepherds? Common people, like her and Joseph. Father, are You telling us that faith is more important than the power, education, or wealth our world approves?
“Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”
May the amazing birth of our Savior lead us all to ponder.
Jane Carlile Baker met Jesus fifty-five years ago. She serves children and on the tech team in her church. Jane’s written three biographies, one nonfiction study of the Bible’s take on living in our times, and two novels. She’s at work on the third, Rogue Irishman, set in her beloved Ireland. Jane edits both fiction and nonfiction. She and her husband live in Central California with a dog and three alpacas. They have three children, five grandsons, and two great-grandchildren.
Jane hopes “A Common Girl, An Uncommon Time” warmed your Christmas. She’d love to send you free short stories once a month if you’ll sign up with your email at janecarlilebaker.com.