I wonder what Mary expected when she found out she was pregnant? Of course, there was the “What? Me? I’m not worthy!” response. But after that, I’m sure she thought about the births in the neighborhood she had heard or witnessed. Aunts, sisters, family surround and help the laboring mother. Midwives and sages would be nearby to give advice or walk the room with her. There would be in the close-knit community at least one person who could help.
If you are a mother, you had some sort of idea how you would like to give birth. For my friend Lucinda, it was at home and cozy. Me? After seven years of infertility I wanted a clean C-section surrounded by stainless steel and machines in the hospital. I had had enough heartache and complications and wanted to eliminate as much risk as possible. And some friends who have adopted discovered it can come with rejection and dashed hopes when birth mothers change their mind. But whatever your “plan” was in becoming a mother (and to be honest, most of our birth plans are laughable—we can’t control the ‘how’ of these arrivals as much as we’d like to think we can) I bet the plan didn’t include being turned away into the night while in labor.
Can you imagine? You are told you are going to give birth to the Son of God and then there is no place for you to do this. No family. No help. You are turned away. “No room.”
I don’t know about you, but my first thought would be, “God, are you serious? This is how you prepare for this important event?!” And doubtless some things would come out of my mouth that weren’t full of peace and faith. I wouldn’t be all serene and happy with it.
Oftentimes in life we are told “No room” for you. How do we deal with that? How do we teach our kids about how to react?
Advent Devotions for Busy Families talks about this issue, as well as 24 others associated with Christmas. Every day in December you can read about and discuss fun topics like candy canes, Christmas cards and even the donkey that teach family members how to keep Christ in the center of Christmas.