Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day - Mary letter 22

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see-- I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:1-20

Dear Mama,

the little boy is here, healthy and so very much alive. All the troubles we encounter en-route seem frivolous now that he is here. Our journey had been overwhelmingly difficult and when we finally got to Bethlehem, there was no where for us to stay. A kind innkeeper and his wife had pity on us and let us use their barn, more of a cave. The set the animals out to pasture and clean everything with new straw. Almost immediately my pains started in earnest and the kind woman of the house went and got the wise women and the midwife. Oh, Mama, I was overwhelmed with pain and didn't think I would make it through. Poor Joseph was undone by my hollering but knew better than to interfere. The midwife was so kind and gentle and helped me with such a soothing voice and supportive way. The women had all sorts of necessities ready for me and kept giving me small sips of water and wiping my brow. When the arrived, it was as if the pain was immediately forgotten and my world changed forever for the better! I was filled with gratitude and joy. When Joseph came in and held the boy, he couldn't hold back the tears!

Mama, the most amazing things have happened overnight. Once the local women left us alone, and we were about to sleep, shepherds arrived, so late in the night that we thought trouble was brewing. We wondered whether we should let them in. But instead they told us a fantastic story. God sent them angels while they were out in the fields, and they were the first to come and see this boy, this gift from heaven, God incarnate! They knelt and looked at him with such joy and admiration! We hardly knew what to say or do. Little Jesus let them near and did not cry, but reached for each as if they were his family. We have barely slept for all this joy. And we were told that there is a star above this humble barn, that will not fade night and day. We were trying to be so inconspicuous, and now we have a star flashing like the biggest fire ever built.

Oh, Mama, I am so tired but so bursting with love and joy. The woman of the house is sending visitors away for now, until I get some rest. Everyone wants to see the little one since the shepherds left here and broadcast their story far and wide! How I wish you were here! Please tell Papa I love him and miss you both terribly!



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