Contemplating Jesus

ORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARY

Posted on by Lucinda M. Vardey

Here is a young couple of newlyweds on an excursion.  It’s an ordinary one, a return to the husband’s place of birth on an errand required by all for the census. The timing is unfortunate as the wife is heavily pregnant but they have no choice. They are people of faith who have, so far in their marriage, gone through trials that most would find impassable.   What is extraordinary is their open acceptance of the will of God and the trust that God’s will be their assured monitor and guide.

They are people of patience and endurance who have no claim on personal comforts. Joseph, an ordinary craftsman, a man of justice and mercy, is Mary’s pillar.  She needs him, as she needed her cousin, Elizabeth, in the early days.   They are about to become parents now, but they are not sure what to expect.  They simply take one step at a time on their journey, an ordinary journey to many, with a few challenges on the way.

They are a couple with wisdom in their bones.  No room at the inn but a stable is free. Set up there, then, with the breath of animals to warm their chills.  Rest from the travelling: they’ve arrived, they’re at Bethelehem.    But there’s more.  There’s the vulnerability of giving birth and not knowing what’s involved. As Mary’s mother is far away, they need to go it alone.    The baby arrives, that moment of joy when his cry opens his lungs to the night air.   It’s time to swaddle and cradle him, but his cry has already reached the heavens.  It cannot be contained, it sets the angels to summon the shepherds.  Glory be to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill to all.

Just an ordinary couple, in a simple shed, doing what has to be done. What comes to life is more than they could ever fathom: the extraordinary light that draws their ordinary lives into the heart of God and propels them to a future beyond imagining.

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