Read: Luke 2: 1-7
As Joseph and Mary began their 90 mile trek to Bethlehem, Mary must have felt fearful. A young, expecting mother, making her way through valleys, mountains, and deserts. Each step increasing the distance between Mary and her own mother, whom she surely longed to cling to in this process. Imagine finally arriving, ready to relax in a warm bed, to find there was no more available space with relatives or local places. Instead, out of pity, they were offered a resting place among the animals used for traveling. Mary must have felt anxious. It was her first time giving birth. What was supposed to be a romantic, pure moment to cherish, was now stained with the stench of hay and manure.
In the ordinary place of parenting, Jesus comes — Emmanuel — God with us.
When our best effort only provides dirty rags and a feeding-trough-made-bed, He comes humbly into the mess.
When we are exhausted and impatient, He comes in with gentleness and mercy.
When we dream and anticipate, only to be let down by reality and unmet expectations, He comes in sovereignty.
When we can’t tame anxious thoughts towards our lacking, He meets us with His abundant provision.
When we strain to see light in a dark, hopeless place, He is the light of the world — causing darkness to flee.
And when we don’t know how to think, feel or speak,
He is simply near.
Emmanuel – God with us.
Prayer: May we seek You in our ordinary parenting to know You are with us, right in the midst. Whether we parent littles or teens, are empty nesters, or even parents who had to release their little loves back to You. You bring ordinary joy and the fresh smile of You.
Listen to: Labor of Love by Meredith Andrews