Tis the season of Advent, a joyful time of new beginnings. The Messiah, The Prince of Peace, and our Savior has been born. Flesh and blood in a lowly manger born to, by today’s standards, a teenage mother who became pregnant before her wedding day. Where was the father? We all knew that the man his mother was betrothed to marry was thirty years old and a carpenter, and most certainly not the father of her baby boy. Yet, they traveled to Bethlehem knocking on each and every door of every inn asking for a place to lay for the night. Unfortunately, the man and his wife were denied by one innkeeper after another for the very reason that no vacancy was available. Mary, the expectant mother and wife of the three decade old carpenter, Joseph, must have suffered from pain and discomfort throughout the night. Her round belly bulging through her tunic, ankles swollen as big as grapefruit, and weary from traveling. She and Joseph were finally settled in a manger. Mary delivered her baby boy that very night. Without the conveniences of modern medicine, she brought forth the Messiah through the great pain of labor. Jesus was born of a Virgin on Christmas Day. When she kissed her precious little baby, she had kissed God’s face. Oh she cradled him and nursed him. Mary raised and nurtured The Great I Am. The one who raised the dead, forgave the guilty, healed the sick, and fed the hungry. Oh how her heart must have broke at the sight of her precious son dying on the cross! Did she shake with sobs at her broken and bloody child? Devastation, pain, and brokeness? I have no idea. All I know is that God’s promise has been fulfilled. And I look forward to Jesus’s second coming. I celebrate the first and second coming of Jesus Christ through Max Lucado’s book: Because of Bethlehem.