Katie’s Musings: Anywhere
December 21 2016
It should be held as extremely disruptive to economic, anthropocentric, religio-political hierarchies of power that Christians confess to worship a creator that was born in a lowly stable.
If you think about it, anywhere would have been better than there. It was probably dark. Dirty. Lamplight, maybe. It probably smelled really, really bad.
They were alone. A young couple in a strange place, one of whom was hugely pregnant, but rejected by strangers for reasons numerous as the stars dotted across the sky. No doubt they had witnessed births before – births of relatives and livestock, perhaps – but that in no way could have prepared them for the messy reality of life-giving in a dark, dirty stable.
In modern reality, babies are born and immediately draped in soft towels or cloths, often set to lie on their parent’s chest, a skin-to-skin bond that lasts for lifetimes and eternities. Jesus had “swaddling cloths,” but what on earth could those cloths have looked like? Dingy, no doubt. A dusty, dirt-speckled baby burrito, with the light of heaven in his eyes.
Did they have food or drink with them? Did Joseph have water or a rag with which to mop Mary’s brow through her labor? Having endured rejection at every turn in their journey, were they able to find some sort of comfort in their little cave? Just them and their newborn baby and the starlight outside the cave? Anyplace would probably have been better.
Maybe a stranger could have taken pity on the largely pregnant girl and opened her door to the unknown. Maybe a villager could have seen them making their way to the cave and brought them at least meager supplies.
And perhaps they did. We can’t really know.
What we can know is that Jesus, the light of the world, Prince of Peace, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, this child who would change the trajectory of the world forever, was born, not in a place of opulent wealth, or cushy comfort, or abundance of possessions, or plenty of any kind… but in a cold, dirty stable to refugee parents who had been rejected at every opportunity by well-meaning villagers.
Anyplace would have been better than there. But there was where he was born. And that makes all the difference.