Monday, December 7, 2009

A SMELLY STABLE

Have you ever walked through a horse or cattle barn at the county fair? Flies buzzing all around your head. It's hot and smelly. Jodie Bailey reminded me on her blog last week about how Mary must have felt entering that stable. She was nine months pregnant. She rode a donkey for miles. Let me back up just a bit. According to Hebrew customs Mary and Joseph's marriage was arranged by their parents. After the contract was settled the two were considered married. Each of them lived with their parents until after a waiting period, when they lived together as husband and wife. If, during that time conception occurred, the marriage could be annulled. Imagine the disgrace Joseph must have felt upon learning Mary was with child. Joseph, not wanting to disgrace her publicly, planned to divorce her quietly. But Matthew 1:20 an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Now can you imagine what his friends thought? When he tried to explain Mary's pregnancy. Did they believe him? Probably not. They were scorned and mocked. Joseph and Mary,under the ruling of Augustus Caesar, were listing their names to be registered in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. While they were there it was time for Jesus birth. Because there was no room in the Inn, Mary and Joseph went to the stable, where the animals were fed. It was there Mary wrapped her tiny babe with pieces of cloth and laid him in a manger (a tiny box for feeding animals). There among the animals in that smelly stable lay our King. Our precious Lord and Savior who would one day die on a cross for our sins. Yes, it all began in that smelly stable. Thank you Jodie Bailey for reminding me of this fact. And thank you Lord for loving me. Don't forget to wish everyone a Merry CHRISTmas this year. Don't take Christ out of Christmas. Remember it isn't happy holidays, but Merry Christmas. It also isn't a holiday tree, but a Christmas Tree. It's a time of Joy and celebration of our wonderful Lord's birth.

4 comments:

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

My Aunt and Uncle came for Christmas often when we were kids living on a farm. My Aunt would get up every morning and go to the horse's pen to pray. I went with her if I was up early enough. They lived in Washington State and we lived in Maple Ridge outside Vancouver.

Christmas Eve she would read the story of Mary and Joseph from the Bible. She was the one who told me that Santa worked for Jesus, and was good friends with King David.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

What a neat Aunt! Wish I could meet her. I love her sense of humor! Thanks for sharing this story with me!
I still miss you!

Carol J. Garvin said...

The nativity image is always so 'romanticized', but when we can visualize the actual scene it brings the reality home -- divine God giving his precious Son to ordinary us. I still find that mind boggling!

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Carol, I know what you mean. I'm humbled when I think of how Mary must have felt----and Joseph too---knowing Mary was with child----I like to be reminded------
Hugs
Katt