An Intimate Nativity

Today's devotion comes to us from New Brunswick, Canada!

LaVonna Anderson is the Administrative Assistant at the Geary Baptist Church in Geary.  She recently wrote this devotional for one of their regional publications.

Perhaps this will give us a different perspective on the birth of Jesus.


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The second chapter of Luke is very familiar to many of us, thanks in large part to Linus sharing the importance of Christmas to Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang. The moment he says "Lights please." it becomes a challenge to see if I can recite the Christmas story right along with him. The Sidewalk Prophets feature this same monologue in the opening of their song "Oh What a Glorious Night" and I am hard pressed to keep my feet still.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aGLV5CfoTU

As I grew older and had children of my own, there were nuances of the Christmas story that snagged my heartstrings. I noticed a thread of intimacy wrapped around the birth of our savior and it struck a chord within me because at its most basic level, that is what our relationship with Jesus is. Intimate.

It was Mary's faith, her deep relationship with God that made the way for her to be chosen to give birth to the Christ-child. Her love for God was so complete, so solid, that she accepted His plan for her with little resistance. She willingly submitted to it.

Through the journey Mary and Joseph had to make to Bethlehem (to be counted in the census) it gave them time to become tender with each other in a familiar, emotional (non-physical) way. To build a relationship with each other and to build their relationship with God as a couple.

Some people get quite upset that the innkeeper turned Mary and Joseph away and quickly assign him the role of 'villain' in the story. However, the innkeeper gave them what he could - a place in his barn away from the noise and chaos. An empty manger served as a crib, the straw served as bedding and the animals provided warmth. It was quiet, and subdued -- one might even say it was 'intimate'.

Mary only had Joseph to help her give birth. It was just the two of them, in a barn, doing the best they could. Can you imagine the looks shared between the two of them as they worked to bring this blessed child into the world? The silent (or not so silent) encouragement, the support, yes, even the love as the event of the babe's birth bound them together.

In Luke 2:19 it says: "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." I can picture Mary lifting her gaze from Jesus' face and taking in all who were coming to see what was going on. Joseph (most likely) is looking a bit stunned and in awe of what just happened – you know, the typical 'new dad' face. Shepherds rush into the stable out of breath and excited, eager to see the new babe. And maybe she wears a tired, joyful smile as she shares her son with those who sought Him out. Though the world is rejoicing, and the Angelic chorus is singing in the heavens, inside the barn all is calm.

Intimacy. This is God's quiet gift to us all that is revealed through the Christmas story. It's contained in a single moment of connection with Him. When shared, it tenderly draws people together and to Him. THIS is the peace that waits for us when we have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ…
 ... because God's kinda cool like that.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

- LaVonna Anderson


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