The Human Side of the Nativity

The Human Side of the Nativity

Recently I have been pondering the events surrounding the birth of Christ.  The Nativity, as it is known.

But I have not been pondering the stuff we preach about every December.  You know, the supernatural side of that birth, the star in the sky, the annunciation of the angels to the shepherds, or the coming of the magi with gifts of great value.  No, I have been thinking about a man and young woman.  Tired.  Alone.  Rejected.  Seemingly forsaken.  They were frightened as Mary’s labor pains, sharp, deep and increasing in intensity and frequency, signaled that the birth of Messiah was drawing near.  And they were terrified at all that wondrous birth would entail.

Two people.  Two lives.  Two different stories.

The following is a song that, for me, captures the heart of young Mary as she gives birth to her Son, our Lord, Jesus.  It is written by Andrew Peterson and sung by Jill Phillips.  It’s called, “Labor of Love.”

Listen and reflect on that night, from the heart of Mary.

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maryIt was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyway that night
On the streets of David’s town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother’s hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
Every beat of her beautiful heart
Was a labor of love

Noble Joseph by her side
Calloused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
On the streets of David’s town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
Every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love
Little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
It was a labor of love

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And then we have the story told from Joseph’s side. This moving song is from Sawyer Brown titled, “It Wasn’t His Child” from their 19th album, True Believer. Listen to the Nativity as told by Joseph.

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josephHe was her man, she was his wife
And late one winter night
He knelt by her
As she gave birth
But it wasn’t his child
It wasn’t his child

Yet still he took him as his own
And as he watched him grow
It brought him joy
He loved that boy
But it wasn’t his child
It wasn’t his child

But like a father he was strong and kind and good
And I believe he did his best
It wasn’t easy for him but he did all he could
His son was different from the rest
It wasn’t his child
It wasn’t his child

And when the boy became a man
He took his father’s hand
And soon the world
Would all know why
It wasn’t his child
It wasn’t his child

But like a father he was strong and kind and good
And I believe he did his best
It wasn’t easy for him but he did all he could
He grew up with his hands in wood
And he died with his hands in wood
He was God’s child
He was God’s child

He was her man
She was his wife
And late one winter night
He knelt by her
As she gave birth
But it wasn’t his child
He was God’s child

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Podcast 224:  The Gift of Hating Sin

Podcast 224: The Gift of Hating Sin

When we read in Genesis 3:15 about God’s curse on Satan we sometimes fail to see the incredible gift in that curse given to us.

“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

“And what gift is that?” you ask.
It is the gift of hating sin.
Want to hear more about it?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study of John 12:12-41.

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Podcast 223:  Are You Wasting Your Life?

Podcast 223: Are You Wasting Your Life?

One of the greatest Christmas passages in all of Scripture is found in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.  It reads:

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own.  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

“What does this have to do with Christmas?” you ask.

Simply this: Are you wasting your life running after trinkets and toys or have you given your life back to the One who gave it to you in the first place?  And, by the way, your answer to this one question will change everything!  Just keep listening.

The following is a study of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

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Podcast 222:  Have You Forgotten?

Podcast 222: Have You Forgotten?

Question:  But what have I forgotten?

Answer:  The encouragement, when facing trials and tribulation, that you are a son of God.

Question:  What is the encouragement?

Answer:  Proverbs 3:11-12 which reads:

My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.

Question:  Really?  I am to be encouraged with a verse that speaks about chastening, rebukes and scourging?  Really?

Answer:  Absolutely.  Just keep listening.

The following is a study of Hebrews 12:4-11.

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