Unwrapping Christmas

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7

I wonder how she really felt that night, far from her family and unable to find a real bed for the Son of God.

We can’t read Mary’s mind or hear her conversations with Joseph as they struggled to find a place to stay in Bethlehem, and I have to believe there’s a reason for this lack of information.

God chose to keep some aspects of the Christmas story private, and I’m thankful.

Even though part of me is curious about the details of that starry night long ago, I don’t really want to know if Mary was irritated or scared or bewildered.

I also don’t want to know if she was calm and understanding.

Because either way, I think I’d find myself comparing my behavior to hers and then justifying my weak moments or beating myself up for them.

The truth is:

Mary was human, and in the midst of all that was true – she was very young, she was far from her family, she was carrying the Son of God inside of her and the time of His arrival was drawing near – I’m sure there were moments along the way when “Silent Night” would not have been the most appropriate background music as she and Joseph went door to door looking for a place to stay.

Many details are left to our imagination as we read the Christmas story, but I love that one moment is shared in a very specific way.

I love that Luke records the visual of Mary carefully and lovingly wrapping up the Son of God and placing Him in the best thing she could find to use as a bed.

I love that no matter how she was feeling that night, she took great care of the most important thing in her life………..

Jesus.

I also love that because we know she wrapped Him up, we also know she had to eventually unwrap Him and allow Him to grow.

This unwrapping had to be just as difficult as every other part of the story.

The choosing to walk forward in a life that was anything but certain.

She had been chosen to bring God’s Son into this world, but now she had to trust God with the rest of the story.

As I think of all I have unwrapped in this life, I am so thankful for Mary.

She inspires me to press on in the midst of crumpled paper, mangled bows, and empty boxes.

She also reminds me that no matter what I face today, no matter how difficult or trying, the most important detail in my life story is the one that shows the world what I do with Jesus.

The wrapping and unwrapping of Him who loves me most.

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