I wonder how Mary felt during the last month of her pregnancy, the time we celebrate during December as advent.
There are many clues given in God's Word. But, not all the details are told. As the book of John says,
|photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com|
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
Some scholars say Mary was around the age of fourteen when she heard the news. She may have endured accusations regarding her pregnancy before marriage. We aren't told what her family said, but we know she went to her cousin Elizabeth's house for the first three months. Perhaps this gave her family time to accept her.
Toward the last days of her pregnancy, a census, mandated by Caesar, forced Joseph and Mary to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about eighty miles. This journey included passages through mountains and hills. Nine months pregnant and riding on a donkey over dirt roads must have been so uncomfortable.
Men and women travelled in groups, usually with relatives. Joseph and Mary probably couldn't keep up with the pace due to her condition and walked most of the journey by themselves. For any who have experienced the last month of pregnancy, you can imagine what she felt.
In addition to her physical needs, her emotional drive would have been in want of a place for her baby. She travelled with the assumption they would stay in an inn and she would receive care. This we can take from Joseph's attempts to find an inn. He probably comforted her along the way with words like, "Don't worry, Mary. We will go to an Inn soon, and you can rest there."
We can probably assume Joseph tried several inns before desperately pleading with the last innkeeper for accommodations and settling for anything, even a stable. Mary heard his efforts. She proved her faith in the beginning of the pregnancy by giving the perfect response to the angel, but probably had concern for Joseph and his efforts to provide her and the coming baby a roof for the night.
The pains set in. She didn't have a bed, nothing more than straw to lay on. Scratchy straw. Her baby was coming. The pains increased. She never had a baby before so each moment brought new sensations, questions, and agony. Her mother wasn't there to tell her how to breathe or to relax.
Mary had probably seen other babies born, perhaps helped with the process. Knowing is different from experiencing, though. Sweat poured down her brow and she cried in pain. The baby, dear sweet Jesus, slipped from her body into the cloths waiting to be wrapped around him.
He breathed his first breath. And Mary wept for joy.
There is much more that could have happened. Help me paint a fuller picture of Mary, the one who mothered Jesus, with your ideas. What can you add?
The winner of Janice Hanna Thompson's book Queen of the Waves is Lisa Nelson. Congratulations, Lisa (winner chosen by random.com)