Labor Of Love

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David’s town

Our thoughts and expectations are that we shall have a ‘Happy Christmas.’ There’s plentiful special food, drink, presents… Christmas cheer, families, generosity. ‘All is calm, all is bright.’

Even the well-known Christmas story has a silent night, a warm, cosy, well sanitised stable… Mary in a freshly-ironed blue dress, a sweet smelling baby in golden straw, clean woolly sheep… ‘Resting in heavenly peace…’

Christians will light their third candle advent candle today. It’s a candle that signifies joy, Christmas joy…

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother’s hand to hold

This Andrew Peterson song presents a different picture that is perhaps closer to reality… a very human story of an unplanned pregnancy, of a young girl separated from friends and family… of blood, tears, pain, dirt… of fear, loneliness, poverty, uncertainty… a loving mother, physically and emotionally drained, holding a new-born baby.

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move.

And yet this is a supernatural story – a story of fulfilled prophecies, of appearing angels, of a virgin birth, of a god who speaks and takes action… a baby who St Paul describes as ‘The image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.’ My Advent musings continue… the candle of joy… the labour of pain… the labour of love.

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love.

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