I wrote this last year but decided to submit again. Merry Christmas to all!
The First Noel
Mary's swollen body was very tired and couldn’t go much further. The long journey to Bethlehem had been exhausting. Her feet and back ached terribly. She was so very large with child and her body was screaming for rest. Joseph had done his best to keep her as comfortable as possible, not letting her walk for long periods of time. He would hoist her up onto the donkey's back when he saw her growing weary. He was such a wonderful husband, she thought to herself. She knew he had endured ridicule from the men of Nazareth when it was made known that she was expecting. It was good that they should go to Bethlehem at this time, she reflected. It would keep the shame for him to a minimum. Although he believed in her and had even told her of his visit by God's angel, she knew the whispers in the village square were hard for him to bare.
As her time of delivery neared, in her heart, she knew Caesar's decree for them to travel the journey to Bethlehem must be part of God’s plan.
And they had finally made it. Now if they could only find somewhere to rest, all would be well. Joseph was inquiring with the Innkeeper for a room. This was the last one. She hoped there would be room for them here. But as Joseph returned from the door, he shook his head discouragingly.
“There is no room in all of Bethlehem, Mary. The Innkeeper said he could only offer us his stable. I am so sorry. I know you are very tired and need good rest tonight.”
“It’s fine, Joseph. The stable will be just fine. Come, my husband, let us go to it.”
As they wearily headed toward the stable, the night deemed itself to be a glorious night. There was the biggest, brightest star Mary had ever seen to light their way. The star brightly glowed and seemed to make it's home low in the sky right above the tiny stable. A multitude of other little stars also twinkled but this one was like a heavenly light-beam. As they entered the stable the livestock were so picturesque and Mary felt their welcome as she petted a tiny baa-ing baby lamb. They made make-shift beds in the hay and settled down close together for a nights rest when Mary felt the first pain in her belly. For a few moments she tried to ignore the contraction and so desperatly wanted to drift off to sleep like her softly snoring husband. Then another pain crept it's way to her lower back and quickly hardened her belly into a large knot.
Um, oh no, little one. Not here....she thought despairingly; would God allow His Son to be born in a lowly stable? Then came the next contraction and the next and the next until she finally woke Joseph to tell him.
“What? He exclaimed. No! You can’t have the baby here. Not now….we need some help, Mary. I must go find a mid-wife to come and help with the delivery.”
“Joseph, no. Please......my husband, do not leave me. We can do this, you and I together, with God’s help.”
And so they did.
For hours Mary travailed in the pains of childbirth. Between the contractions Joseph and Mary prayed to God to help them deliver His child. As Mary’s pains came closer and closer together, Joseph held her and comforted her. He found a little manger and put some hay in it. He found some old rags to clean Mary and wrap the baby in when He came. It was almost time. Large moans escaped from deep inside Mary and she was writhing and gripping handfuls of hay in her hands each time she had a contraction.
Mary was in horrific pain. Joseph could see it in her eyes. He was terrified. He felt so useless and unsure of what to do next. He had never witnessed childbirth before much less been responsible for delivering a baby into the world. His hands shook uncontrollably as he folded them in silent prayer.
God, I love her so much! He prayed.
I know….I do too, God seemed to say to him.
Father God, please help me in this situation....to be calm for Mary. Help me to deliver Your child. Give me wisdom and strength, God I pray...
He felt the LORD take control of his emotions and give him the strength he needed to help his beautiful wife. He felt flowing rivers of peace wash over him as his hands steadied for his task.
Thank You, LORD, he softly breathed.
“Joseph, the baby is coming……ohhh Joseph!”
“That’s good my darling wife, push….push! I can see him Mary! Push harder.
Mary screamed in agony as the baby came forth from her womb.
And then He was in Joseph’s arms. Tears of joy for the miracle he had just been blessed to take part in and witness were streaming down his face as he looked into the eyes of the new babe. It wasn't such a silent night, but it truly was a Holy and miraculous night in the little stable in Bethlehem, he thought as he laid the precious baby in His mother’s arms.
“You did it, my beautiful Mary. We have a son.”
“No, my husband. God did it. He has a Son. His name shall be called Jesus. I am blessed to be His mother and you are blessed to be His earthly father. Let us now give thanks to His Heavenly Father, and ours.”
And so they did. As they bowed their heads a hosts of angelic beings gathered to sing praises to the newborn King.
As all the world lay sleeping, a humble King born of a young virgin girl came into this world for one reason only - to save this world.
That was the first Noel.
I hope you have a blessed Christmas this year. If you remember the reason for this season, I can guarantee - you will.....
Julia this is absolutely beautiful. I felt as if I was right there when our Lord and Savior was born. Thanks for sharing the greatest story that could ever be told- the beautiful and miraculous birth of our Lord. God bless you...Patty
Thank You for this Beautiful anointed treasure!You take us back to a Very Holy moment in History when God entered into the world!God Bless!
Thanks for sharing this again,Julia, and Thank You again for the priviledge for letting us share Your Beautiful piece with the viewers up at our website,graceintheheart.ca
With Jesus Love,