"In Mary's place" By: Gail Smith
I have tried to put myself in Mary’s place and imagine what the birth of her first son and that first Christmas were like for her.
I have had three pregnancies and given birth to four children, but under extremely different
Mary was a young teenager when she was told by the angel Gabriel that she was going to have a son.
I was close to twice her age when my husband and I learned I was pregnant with our first child, and we had been married almost three years.
Mary was only engaged to Joseph, the carpenter, who was taken aback by the news of her pregnancy.
I can identify with the excitement Mary must have felt and the
anticipation of wanting to tell her cousin Elizabeth she was going to have a baby.
I learned I was pregnant just before we traveled at Thanksgiving and told our families we were going to have a baby the next summer.
The journey to Bethlehem must have been difficult and very uncomfortable since Mary was in the latter part of her pregnancy.
It is highly unlikely Mary went through her labor and delivery with little or no help. There is no record of a mid-wife and she certainly would not have had the assistance of a physician.
Her labor and delivery room was the opposite of a sterile
Mary wrapped baby Jesus in remnants of fabric as she would not have had layette items from a baby shower, as most mothers do today.
I can also imagine her joy in holding her baby for the first time. Even though it has been more than 30 years since we had our first child, a son, the memory never fades.
Our friends, family and co-workers came to see our newborn…but angels, shepherds and barn animals were Jesus’ first visitors.
In the years that Emmanuel presents “Pilgrimage to
Bethlehem,” once the walls of the city are built and the booths are set up, there seems to be more than a scenic transformation. I always feel I have gone back in time.
Whether you are a pilgrim passing through Bethlehem for the first time, or participating for the third, may you be able to identify with those who traveled 2,000 years ago.
No matter what your part this week, may you feel the magic and joy of that first Noel.
Recent blog posts
- Directions to Emmanuel
- An Advent Response to Newtown, Connecticut
- Emmanuel Baptist Day School
- Ash Wednesday
- Pizza & Pysanky Eggs
- "Renewal through respite" By: Gail Smith
- "What's your worth?" By: Karen Hamilton
- "Finding your place to serve" By: Frances Blair
- "Deacons: Our Servant Leaders"
- Valentine Banquet & Dessert Auction