In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. (Luke 2:1-7 NIV)
Mary has just given birth in a stable and Jesus is placed in the manger. It must have been overwhelming for her. She had just traveled 70 miles on bumpy dirty roads, she didn’t have a nice maternity ward, there were no nurses on hand to coach her through the birth. But the word of the Lord had come to pass, that which is impossible is now a reality. The one through whom and for whom everything exists has taken the form of a child, the first advent.
Angels look on in wonder as the one who created them has subjected himself to his creation, what love is this that the one who through stars into space is now a baby. Such mystery and wonder, a young Jewish girl giving birth to the king of kings.
Not only were Angels looking on in wonder but Mary and Joseph too. It is all very difficult to imagine, difficult to comprehend. With the luxury of hindsight we can see how perfect the timing is, how profound the mission – world changing, life saving. And yet for Mary and Joseph they couldn’t imagine what was to come, for them the adventure had just begun. It started with obedience and believing in the one who makes the impossible possible.