The First Christmas. Mary's story.

christopheranton By christopheranton, 29th Nov 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>Holidays & Celebrations

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but we must not forget that there was a real human story that underlaid the Divine Plan.

Even Our Lord was human once.

Trusting in Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, and hoping that they have a sense of humour, I am telling The Christmas Story, as it might have been related by Mary.

The Annunciation.
I am just exhausted. Coping with a new baby is a stress at the best of times, but you try doing it in a cave with cows and a donkey breathing down your neck. Never again. After this no more children for me. I'm glad I am to be a perpetual virgin. Suits me down to the ground, that does. The last week has just been one long nightmare. OK I,ve got this beautiful baby boy, and He is The Son of God and all that, but he still has to have his nappy changed, and breast feeding is no joke when you have cattle staring at you.

So you might ask, how did I get into this situation in the first place? Well it all happened nine months ago. I know what you are thinking, but it wasnt like that. The baby had a rather unique conception actually. I was sitting in my room at Nazareth, just doing a bit of sewing. Both my parents were out. They were actually round my fiance,s house. Joseph was his name. He was "banging up" a chest for my mother, and they had went over there to see how he was getting on. My mother was always trying to get something for nothing. I think she only encouraged the match so she could get some "freebie" furniture. If I didnt love Joseph, I would have broken off the engagement just to teach her a lesson.

Anyway, to get back to the story. I was just about to put the sewing away, and pour myself a nice big beaker of wine to unwind before they both came home. I needed it if I had to contend with "dearest Mama" rabbitting on about furniture, and measuring the doors to see if the new chest would fit through them. You would need to be a saint to put up with my mother sometimes. Just as well the whole family were destined for canonisation, but we didnt know that then. Suddenly there was an almighty gust of wind, which almost shook the house, and this very shining faced man was standing in the corner of the room.

Before I could scream he said
"Hail full of Grace. The Lord is with you. I think you ought to have that drink now. For I have something to tell you; and then you cannot have any alchohol for at least another year".

I was gobsmacked, to put it mildly. But I did pour myself that drink. Just to write down what he told me almost freaks me. He said I was blessed amongst women, and that I was going to have a baby, one like no other. This child would be born for the salvation of all mankind, and his name would mean "God with us". I know this seems a bit strange, but, instead of feeling frightened, I had a sense of great peace overwhelming me. There was also a really beautiful smell of flowers mixed with incense pervading the whole room. I just knew that this was the right thing that was happening, and that this shining faced individual was a messenger from God.
So instead of screaming "Rape" at the top of my voice, I just said "be it done unto me according to Your will".

Just then, like in a bad play, I heard the door downstairs opening. My mothers voice shouted up. "Mary are you there? I'm just coming up to measure the space where I want to put the chest. I'm sure that Joseph got the measurements wrong. I said three cubits, not four".
Can you imagine the panic? There was me trying to bundle an angel into the wardrobe, thinking she will see the shine from his face through the cracks. I'll be ruined. The divine messenger just whispered in my ear "Mums the word" and disappeared just as my mother's head appeared at the top of the stairs.
She just stood in the middle of the room and sniffed.
"Mary. I hope you havent been at the "waccy baccy".
And that is how I found out that I was destined to give birth to the Son of God.

The census in Bethlehem.

Fast forward around eight and a half months. Joseph was quite laid back when I told him about the angel, and about me being pregnant. To be honest, I think he must have had a Divine Messenger of his own. He just said that we should get married quickly, and if any "nosey parkers" said anything, we would just say that the baby was his. He didnt even blink an eyelid when I told him that it would be a celibate marriage . That man really is a saint. We were settled into our own place within a month, and we were looking forward to the birth of the baby.

Then one day all our plans were upset. Joseph went to the market with my mother. There was a sale on in swaddling clothes, and my ever demanding Mama wanted Joseph to help her carry a big bundle of them home. I could guess she would buy more than I could ever use for one baby. She would probably sell the excess at a profit later in the year. That was Saint Anne for you. She could never resist the temptation to make a few denarii. I just hoped they hadnt "fallen of the back of a camel". I didnt fancy the idea of wrapping the Messiah in "knock off" swaddling clothes.


When Joseph got back he seemed to be in a not very good mood. He kind of threw the little bit of swaddling, that his enterprising mother in law had reserved for her first grandchild, into the corner of the room and paced about distractedly.
I asked him what the matter was, thinking that my mother had been nagging him about something again. He sat down and told me that we would have to go on a journey, almost right away.

Apparently there was one of those roman soldiers in the marketplace, making a proclamation about some census. The romans were always up to something. If it wasnt rendering taxes to Caesar, it was forced labour on an aqueduct, or some such nonsense. According to this wretched roman we had both to go to Bethlehem and get recorded for some stupid census, that, of course, was vitally important for imperial security, or some such rot. My mother, bless her, almost got herself arrested. She apparently told the roman that there was no question of her daughter dragging herself off to no Bethlehem, when she was just about to "Spring a Sprog". Joseph had to drag her off. He said the expression on the roman's face was "classic". He wont mess with a "Galilee Mama" again in a hurry. She didnt forget her big bundle, mind you.

To make a long story short, next day saw Joseph and I, and a second hand donkey, plodding over the mountains towards Bethlehem. Not fun when you are almost nine months gone. We left my mother busy with plans to turn her house into a shop. Apparently the trip to the market had given her some ideas. Knowing her, she would probably have dragooned half the roman army into helping with the conversion. So at least I didnt have to worry there.

When we got to Bethlehem, the place was swarming with people. If I could explain. The reason why we had to go there in the first place was something to do with being descended from King David, as that dump Bethlehem was apparently "The City of David". The romans were so pernickity about the forms, that you could only register in your family city. The place was just crawling with his descendants. I had never seen so many people. I remember saying to Joseph that it must have been Solomon, with all his wives, that generated so many.

The birth of Our Saviour.

There was only one inn, and that was full to the rafters. We didnt really have a clue as to where we were supposed to stay. My enterprising husband, luckily, spotted a dirty stable hand loitering around the side of the building. The judicious administering of a bribe managed to secure us a place in a cave that was used for keeping the animals. I was not impressed. You would think there would be some perks from having such a noble lineage. Just to make a bad situation worse, the baby started coming. At least the labour wasnt too long. The innkeepers wife helped me at the birth. Joseph I had chased away. I will tell you one thing. Theologians have often said that The Son Of Man came into the world easily, and there were no birth pangs. That is rubbish. I know. I gave birth to Him. I remember, at one stage screaming that if that angel dared to show his face again, I would give him a shining face, with my fist.

Once the baby was born, of course, everything changed. Just one look at his little face, and I knew that I would love him forever. It didnt matter to me Who his father was. He was my Redeemer, whether he was The Messiah or not.
Joseph came sheepishly into the cave shortly afterwards. When he looked at the baby I knew that he felt exactly the same as me.

The cave got a bit like Grand Central Camel Station then. First thing I noticed was the well remembered scent of flowers and incense. Then this glorious, but rather loud music, that seemed to be coming from the skies. At first I thought that the other descendants of David in the inn were having a post census party. Not what I needed after just giving birth. When I listened to the words, they seemed to be singing "Glory to God on High, and on Earth Peace to men of goodwill". It was only when some shepherds came in to say that an angel had told them to come to see the special baby, that the "denarius dropped". More angels of course. I might have guessed.
I sent one of the shepherds up to the hill to politely thank the angelic host for their serenade, but, "Would they mind finishing now, as I had a baby that needed some sleep".
"You can,t say that to angels". Joseph said.
"Oh yes I can, I said. "I am The Mother of God now, and when I tell an angel to be quiet, the angel shuts up. Besides we are going to have a busy couple of weeks here. There are three kings coming in a few days. I hope they bring some decent presents. You can't bring up a saviour on what a carpenter earns".

To read about The Three Kings follow this link.

Tags

An Angel Appeared To Mary, Angel, Angels, Bethlehem, Born In A Cave, Born In A Stable, Called God With Us, Cave, Cave Where They Kept The Animals, Census, Christmas, City Of David, Donkey, Expecting A Baby, Joseph, Laid In A Manger, Mary, Messenger Of God, Messiah, Mother Of God, Nazareth, No Room At The Inn, Romans, Shepherds, Shepherds Came By Night, Singing Angels, Stable, The Annunciation, The Birth Of Christ, The Birth Of Jesus, The First Christmas, The Inn Was Full, The Nativity, The Nativity Of Our Lord, The Story Of Christmas, Three Kings

Meet the author

author avatar christopheranton
Born in Ireland, but living in London since 1986, my main interests are reading, studying history, politics, and theology, and looking after the welfare of my cat. I like to write on a variety of subjects, make general observations on lifes dilemmas....(more)

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Comments

author avatar aesoplado
30th Nov 2010 (#)

Just in time for Christmas.

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author avatar Denise O
30th Nov 2010 (#)

Interesting take on this story.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar christopheranton
30th Nov 2010 (#)

Your welcome Denise.

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author avatar christopheranton
30th Nov 2010 (#)

Thanks for reading
aesopledo.

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author avatar hieroglyph
11th Dec 2010 (#)

Nicely written, perceptively on Mary's side? Really good! Nice to know that there is a higher fraction of Jesus' believers over those who do not... You'll be blessed...

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author avatar christopheranton
11th Dec 2010 (#)

hieroglyph. thank you.

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