“Peace on earth, good will to men!”. The angels praised the newborn king as the sheperds watched in awe.The sky was aglow with the glory of the heavenly display in the sky above them. They stood in stunned silence, as the sky once again became a dark palette of twinkling stars. One star star stood out among the rest.
They were drawn by it's light to the stable where they found the child, just as the angels had said. He was wrapped in simple swaddling clothes, lying in a rough hewn wooden manger filled with straw. The star seemed to linger over the stable, it's light shining through the roof, surrounding the baby.
The sheperds dropped to their knees in front of the manger, much to Mary and Joseph's surprise.
“Prince of Peace” one of them whispered, as they stared at the child. Finally the eldest among them haltingly told of the angels and what they had proclaimed.
Mary marveled in her heart. She was a bit overwhelmed. Nine months ago, an angel had told her that she would give birth to the Son of God. Now the sheperds were worshiping her child, this precious baby, her son. She had given birth to him in pain and agony, as would any other woman in the throes of childbirth.
She lifted him from the manger, and placed him at her breast, where he suckeled hungrily.She held him close, kissing his downy head. Suddenly, a blinding light enveloped Mary and the baby. She felt warm and secure as a voice whispered, “This is my son who has been entrusted to your care, Mary, mother of the King.”
She reveled in the moment. Time and space seemed to stop. When Joseph gently nudged her elbow, Mary came down to earth, aware of where she was, and the quiet lowing of the cow in the nearby stall. She noticed that the sheperds had gone. Once again the little family was alone.
Joseph knew he had come to the end of one road, only to begin another. He turned to his wife, noticing the glow on her face. He was humbled, drinking in all that had happened since Mary had told him she was pregnant. He loved the child already, as if he was his own. He was to be father to the Son of God.
Joseph placed his arm around Mary, looking into Jesus' face. The baby yawned, and his eyes begin to close. “What will it be like raising him?” Joseph mused A great peace filled his soul, and he knew he would guard his family with his life. He took the babe frome Mary, placing him back in the manger. “Jehovah,” he prayed, “may I be worthy of the task you have placed upon me.” Joseph instantly knew that God was with him, and would guide his steps in the days to come.