Whenever we consider the first Christmas, we generally associate the nativity scene with feelings of peace, joy and happiness.  But let us look beyond the cosy crib concept to the reality of the situation.

Joseph, for instance, must have been a very concerned man.  His frantic search for accommodation for the very pregnant Mary, led him only to frustration and a cave in the hillside.  Not the most sterile environment for the birth of a baby.

Mary, knowing her time was near, would have needed all the faith she possessed to accept that she must bring her special child into the world on a bed of straw, in a cave used to shelter animals.

And what Father would not be devastated to hand over his son, knowing the pain and suffering he would have to endure?  Our Heavenly Father knew there was no other way to redeem mankind, so there must have been agony in his heart when he gave us Jesus, as the world’s first Christmas present.

Maybe we could stop for a moment and in our mind recreate the birthplace of Jesus.  Gently, we could bring any problems we have in our life to the new-born Saviour and lie them beside the infant in the straw.

Our Christmas will be complete, if we can freely give our burdens to the infant Jesus in the crib, knowing that only He has the power to convert our problems into the peace, joy and happiness associated with the Season.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

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