Our church's cantata is over, our children's program will be performed this weekend, our gift exchange with friends is complete, we continue to check off the list. All the while, Bethlehem remains in my mind. I'm relishing in the festivities, taking in the joy, but this evening takes my mind to another night. The little town is almost visible to me as I gaze out my window into the darkening sky.
I close my eyes and try to feel her labour, her shivering, her fear. It was Mary's first birth experience and the lack of shelter would certainly bring a nervousness for how this would all take place. She was young, trusting Joseph to find somewhere adequate for them. Oh, how the pain must have scared her. No longer a mother at her side, she was becoming a mother. And as she was visited and gifts were brought and her child was worshipped, she pondered all these things in her heart. I have a video and photos as memories of my births and yet, the story of her child, born in this little town, remains with me today through His Word. I sometimes ache to sit and meditate on this for much longer, perhaps all of advent. Bethlehem, you're on my mind tonight. You must be on my mind. If I don't allow you to infiltrate me, what is my list worth? What is this season worth? Would Christmas ever be the same if I let go of the parties and gifts and just sat at His feet? It's tempting. Having had even more changes in my heart this month, I wait for the celebration of His birth with renewed anticipation. Oh, little town, my hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.