Today at our church, I had witnessed my first born's first participation in a Christmas Pagent. This year, her group were sheep, and were lead on stage during the hymn "Upon a Midnight Clear" by one of the older 3rd grade shepards. My near 4 year old, who's name happens to be that of one of the cast of characters in the pagent, was carrying her baby doll, thinking that she was holding the Christ child. Of course, the main cast of characters were on stage with their baby doll. The doll "magically appeared" from under the manger. After the grab, I was noticing how the young Mary figure was holding a caring for the baby. Then I was looking at the program of the pagent which was decorated by drawings the children in our church did. All the drawings depicted both Mary and Joseph smiling almost as if the baby magically appeared.
Of course we adults know the whole reality of birth. It is not always an easy process. In our day and time, it is almost at requirement to have a birthing area, whether in a hospital or a home, in a sterile condition during the labor and birth. And to think of giving birth in one of the most unsanitary places, a barn, is unthought of today. On top of all that, imagine putting your child in an animal feeding trough! I don't like the fact my 10 month is playing with the cat food, let alone let her actually to lie in it. Jesus was definately not born in the most kosher of situations based on Jewish law. I am sure there were bugs, fecal matter, and smells that we think are horrid in this time and age and of that. I would imagine the possiblity of disease and birth mortality rate were higher then than now. It is a miracle that someone had survived such a birth in those conditions.
Today with our organic moms and disinfectant dads, imagining to actually be in that situation is out of our scope. Yet with our set ways, a cozy birth is very picturesque. Bringing life into this world is already something everyone deals with anticipation and know that change in inevitable. Sometimes we have to really be out of comfortable situation to see God at work. That is something to ponder this Christmas season.