Building a Nest
"All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them." Luke 2:3-7
I've heard it said that some pregnant women go through a "nesting" spell, as they feel the urgency to prepare a welcoming space for their baby. Lucky for me, Robbie has been the one to pick up this parenting instinct, since I have been resting in every moment of my free time. He has prepared the nursery with a crib, a changing table/soothing bassinet, toy chests, and a dresser for blankets, swaddlers, clothes and more. Luckily the room already has bookcases built into the wall, and so he has all of her books and many stuffed animals displayed, awaiting her arrival. He even has some night lights, a CD player, and the ever important video camera monitors all set in place. I have been checking our lists, washing clothes, sitting beside him with appreciation, and putting a few decorative touches on the room. When I consider all of the preparation that we have made and others have gifted to us, I am struck by the humble improvisation in the story of Mary and Joseph. Not only were they working without a midwife, but they were caught having to make a welcoming nest for Jesus in an unfamiliar setting which, honestly, did not welcome them. Joseph had to go to Bethlehem, but he made sure that he was constantly by Mary's side. We are not told why there was no lodging available for them. Perhaps it was the crowds in town for the census. Perhaps the rumors about Mary's pregnancy had traveled to Bethlehem. Perhaps it was a little of both, and a little bit of how this world wasn't ready for what God had in store. When we listen to their story, we hear about good people who are being rejected at every turn, and yet the child who is born to them came to tell us of our great creator who loves us and wants to welcome us all into a new kind of "kingdom" or "kin-dom." The Great Spirit which set all things into motion, wants to bring peace into our complicated lives.
As you make your many arrangements for the arrival of your family and friends this Christmas, may you find a way to make a special space for love and peace to enter into your daily life. Are you already doing this? What does it look like to open up space for the presence of hope, peace and love for you personally? Feel free to comment below.