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. Luke 2: 6-7 NRSV
The Gospel of Luke is traditionally known to be written by a physician. However, because we have no signed originals, this is really a bit of faith-based guesswork on our part.
Personally, I cannot believe that the person who penned these two verses had ever participated in any kind of birth - human or animal - except their own.
The verses make it seem like the entire birth was calm, straight-forward and blessedly quick. It could have been, I suppose. But I don't think it was a truely silent night. At the very least, the baby Jesus must have cried at least once!
Perhaps writing about the messy, painful and scary parts of birthing were always far removed from polite company such as the Theophilus to whom the book is addressed. Certainly all of our pageants, nativities and modern manger scenes are incredibly neat and tidy. However, Luke never holds back on the messy, bloody and horrible scenes from Jesus' death.
God, remind us this season that Jesus entered into the real world - one that is messy, chaotic and often horrible. Thank you that he entered in and continues to enter in today! In His name we pray. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims