Friday, December 5, 2008


Even though the baby was born in His father’s hometown, no one but the novice parents knew of the baby’s exact moment of arrival. His parents were in every way fascinated with their infant’s tiny fingers and toes, His rosebud lips, His crinkly eyes, His hair that was softer than words could express. Everything about Him was absolutely perfect–a fact they would realize even more fully as he grew into a teenager. Only moments ago it had been just the two of them. In the next few moments Mary struggled to comprehend that she was a mother and Joseph, a father. But for now they were content to snuggle up together as a family of three.

As Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling clothes and placed Him in a borrowed manger she had no idea that one day He’d be wrapped in cloth again and laid in a borrowed tomb. Joseph was with her now and Joseph of Arimethea would be with her then. For now, "The heavens–wrapped in wonder–knew the meaning of His birth. In the weakness of a baby, they knew God had come to earth!"*(1) This newborn who couldn’t speak a word was the fulfillment of The Word of God to man. As Mary watched the first light of a new day gradually appear, she joyfully accepted her first full day as a mother.

While the newborn cried softly, those in the world outside continued their morning routines as usual. Mary tried to relax and rest as she nursed Jesus, but she had so many thoughts and questions swirling through her mind that she couldn’t settle down. Instead of being anxious and concerned, she chose then and there to ponder things in her heart, a habit she’d continue for the rest of her life. Yes, the first light of this new day was very pleasing to Mary and she held Jesus even closer to her.

Little did Mary know that before the first light of a new day some three decades later, Jesus would be betrayed by one of His disciples, and yet another would deny three times that he even knew Him. Then, the first light of the next day would bring trials filled with false accusations and undeserved physical brutality. Jesus, The Word, had not been able to speak words on His birthday; He was only able to cry out to His father and mother. One day He would choose not to speak during difficult days of trial. On the day of His death, Jesus would only be able to cry out to His Father in heaven while His earthly mother stood weeping nearby.

After Jesus was born He had been placed inside a wooden cradle; in the future He’d be placed upon a wooden cross to die. Soon after His birth, the Name of Jesus was listed on the census by his proud father, Joseph. Shortly before His death thirty-three years later, a sign on a cross would list Jesus as King of the Jews.

In Bethlehem, His earthly parents were rejected at the inn. At Golgotha’s crucifixion, Jesus would be rejected by men. Shepherds had guarded their flocks and surrounded the birthplace of Jesus, The Lamb of God. Someday soldiers would guard and surround a tomb, the burial place of God’s Son, His Sacrificial Lamb.

In the first light of a future day, things would continue as they had been as the Son of God arose from the dead! Angels would be speaking at His resurrection to perplexed, terrified women: Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary the mother of James. At His birth angels spoke to two confused, frightened parents, Joseph of Bethlehem and Mary of Nazareth. Jesus was born into this world through a mother’s labor of love and eventually He would be resurrected into the world eternal through His Father’s labor of love.

In the first light of His first day on earth, angels announced the birth of Jesus; there were no trumpet fanfares announcing His arrival, even though He’d come from an impeccable lineage, straight from Father-God’s throne. In the first light of the last day, He will come from Father-God’s throne with trumpet sound announcing His second arrival to earth. Then our song will be greater than what the angels had to say at His first arrival on earth! Hallelujah, Hallelujah! Amen!

For then, for now, as well as for eternity–that’s why we celebrate Jesus’ coming!

*(1) based on the song "In the First Light"


©11-20-02 and 12-12-04 by Janet Faye Broyles of Edmond, Oklahoma. This devotional is protected by copyright laws and may not be reprinted or posted to a site without permission from Janet F. Broyles. All readers are welcome to forward the devotional to a friend or link to it. If you would like to seek permission to reprint the devotional in full, please leave a message for me here.