born to save the world

a pre-birth contemplative reading for Mary… sitting in the nativity…


You could be forgiven, if you just read the Bible, for thinking that giving birth to the son of God would be easy… quick… painless…

It’s not going to be like that.

Everything I know tells me this will be harder than anything I’ve ever done before. And I don’t know if I can do it. What if I scream? What if screaming isn’t enough? What if I can’t take it anymore? What happens when I can’t go on?

But there’s no stopping this. There is no other way for this love to be born.

I wanted it to be different to this. I didn’t want my baby – especially this baby – to be born in a stable, on dirty hay. I didn’t want my baby to be born away from my home at the whim of some government. I didn’t want to be tired. I didn’t want to be scared… I wanted my mother to be with me. 

And now I just want this baby.

I wasn’t so sure at the very beginning. I didn’t choose to have this baby. What kind of love was this to be forced upon me? But now everything in me aches to meet him, to see him, to touch him, to discover just what love looks like.  

I hope he looks like Joseph.
I know that they say he has great purposes in his life… this little one, born to save the world. They say that much will be expected of him and much will be done by him…  and I believe them… but he doesn’t have to do anything to save me. Just the promise he brings has done that.
But tonight the promise takes a human shape.

Here in the mess and dirt and fear and smell and pain.

Love will be born here tonight.