Last week I had the pleasure of attending a precious homebirth. I love December births. There is something that just feels so special about them. Christmas is the season of giving, and seeing a family bringing forth the gift of life just leaves me breathless. It stirs up visions of Mary and Joseph welcoming our saviour, Jesus Christ. It brings to mind a glorious nativity scene where His parents, surrounded by others, were consumed with love as they looked upon their perfect baby.
Being a doula has changed my picture of the nativity scene in a few ways. Well, it hasn't necessarily changed the nativity itself, but on Christmas, I am thinking about the birth a lot more than the classic nativity scene we see lit in people's yards or sympbolized on mantels. What's missing from the vision in my head? Primarily, the manger. I don't picture the manger at all.
History tells us that it would likely have taken a few months for the nativity attendants to arrive on the scene. Upon their arrival, a manger would have been a great place for baby Jesus to be swaddled and receive visitors. The actual night of His birth would have looked a lot different. On the night of His birth, instead of being placed in a manger, He would have been placed on His mother's chest.
Jesus didn't need a manger in the moments, or even days after his birth. But He would have required warmth - warmth from Mary. Mangers didn't come with warming lamps like the warmers in modern hospitals. Mangers would have been quite useless for a newborn. Before He was away in a manger, Jesus was away on his mother's chest. The safest and warmest place for Him, was right at Mary's breast.
This Christmas, I am thankful that God sent Jesus to be safe and warm on Mary's chest. I loved the moments when my babies were placed on my chest. I bet Mary did, too.