A Holy/Terrible Night


By Drew Benac

“The Lord is with you…do not be afraid!” – Luke 1:28,30

We talk about a lot about the angels, shepherds and wise men this time of year.  We talk about the birth of Jesus, as we should, and the significance that his birth, death and resurrection bears on our lives.  We talk about Mary and Joseph and how there was no room for them in the inn but we seldom think about what that night was really like for Jesus’ parents.

Mary didn’t have her mom nearby, no one to hold her hand or help with the baby.  She was a first time mom, clueless and alone.  She had no doctor, no midwife, no bed, just a barn.  She was exhausted from travel, had been in the same clothes for days, and had likely had little to eat in the weeks leading up to her delivery, yet, it was these conditions that God chose for the birth of his Son.

For Joseph, the scene was no less frightening.  He had little money to his name, no place for his family to stay, was the subject of social scorn, and had no clue if his wife or his baby would make it through the night.  (Scholars believe maternal  and infant mortality in Jesus’ day was in the neighborhood of 20-30%).  The conditions that night were nothing short of terrible and I’m sure Mary and Joseph were terrified.  I would have been. Perhaps they were second guessing why the God of the universe would pick the two of them and such trying circumstances for the birth of the Savior?

The Lord is with you…do not be afraid!” These were the angel’s words 9 months earlier (Luke 1:28,30), and it was these nine words, and nothing more, that Mary and Joseph held onto tightly that night.  The Lord would have to be enough, there was no other way.  He would have to get them through.  For Mary, parenthood was a labor of love.  For Joseph it was a leap of faith. Life had not been easy for them and that wasn’t about to change.  The circumstances that night were especially difficult. But God was with them and his faithfulness and his provision were enough.   We can find great comfort in the lives of these two parents because our Savior, the one born that terrible yet holy night, is both unchanging and changed everything.  He will be faithful, he will provide, he will be enough and we can experience rest and peace as a result.  Regardless of the struggle or the sweetness that surrounds your life this Christmas season, regardless of how wonderful or wicked the current circumstances are I hope that you will not be afraid…the Lord is with you. That is why he came.

Post inspired by Andrew Peterson’s song “Labor of Love”. CLICK HERE to listen




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