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Find Hope through a Child’s Birth

A child’s birth usually brings great hope. Hope for the future, hope for an expanded family, hope for this precious new life that has entered the world.

That’s not always the case. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, a new birth is not welcomed – perhaps financial or marital stresses, single motherhood, or abusive parents.

Having not given birth myself, I recall the births, as well as adoption, of my nieces, nephews and their children. Each a symbol of hope and love, as I saw the new parents adore their children and guide them with love and discipline.


But there is One whose birth brought the greatest hope to the world. Jesus, the Son of God, humbled himself to enter this world he created, through the birth canal of a virgin. Mary was a girl, probably 14-15 according to the common marital age of girls at that time. She was willing to be a vessel who might be misunderstood–pregnant without benefit of marriage. She would also suffer greatly as her Son gave himself for us.

A cattle trough became a manger for the King of Kings

But for today, let’s think of the joy she felt. She and Joseph, the man who had become her husband, had traveled by donkey and on foot through dusty, danger-infested roads to Bethlehem in response to Caesar’s demand that a census be taken. Every man had to return to his birthplace.


Bethlehem was crowded with many coming to register. Probably dirty. Smelly. And unwelcoming. Mary was exhausted after the journey, and her labor pains began. But inn after inn turned them away. “Filled up. No room.” Where was their compassion for a woman about to give birth?

Finally, an innkeeper took pity on them and put them up with the animals in his stall.

Not an ideal place for a birth, was it? Especially not for the birth of a King.

Jesus’ bed was unlike that of this precious child, lying on a wreath of flowers, serene and beautiful in rest.

But into that stall that night, Jesus was born. Joseph repurposed the manger, the trough where cattle came to feed. I imagine he covered the itchy straw with cloths to soften its impact on God’s Son, his to raise.


Mary must have been ecstatic, although weary. God’s promise to her was fulfilled.

What must she have felt as she looked into Jesus’ sweet baby face? Love, deep mother love. Awe, that this child, born of her body by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, would be Messiah, the One for whom all Israel had waited so many years. The one who would redeem his people from their sins and restore them to right relationship with God. What did that even mean?


Shepherds tended their flocks when an angel of the Lord appeared to them, surrounding them with the glory of God. They were terrified.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12

Suddenly, the one was joined by a multitude of angels, singing praises to God.

Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  Luke 2:14

The shepherds were amazed and said, “Let’s go see this thing the angels have told us about.” They left their flocks and rushed to Bethlehem to worship the tiny Savior.

Later, wise men from the East, who may have been astronomers, saw a special star they recognized as signifying the birth of a King. They traveled to Bethlehem to worship this new King. They asked Israel’s King Herod for help finding the child. While he faked interest, Herod was actually furious—and afraid. Was this child a threat to his kingdom?


God protected the child from the attacks of Herod. Jesus grew and matured. But that’s a topic for another day.

How would you or I feel if an angel stood before you in all his glory and told you that you, a virgin, would bear a son who would save his people? Would we respond as Mary did?

I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Like Mary, I am the Lord’s servant, and need to trust Him knowing there will be difficult days as well as wonderful, renewing ones. Knowing he will always be beside and within me. Knowing he is trustworthy and, because of that, I have hope.

I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

At the birth of your children, did you feel more hope or fear? Why?



  1. Grace L says:

    Carol, thank you for this beautiful heartwarming reminder of the birth of our Lord. Brings great peace and hope to my heart. You write so beautifully!! I love you. Merry Christmas to you and Don.

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Thank you dear Grace. Christ is born, and therefore we have peace and hope. I appreciate your comment. Merry Christmas to you and Dave, and we’ll see you a few days before! I love you too.

  2. The greatest gift ever given! I loved being in the hospital after my daughters were born. I felt hope and enjoyed people visiting and admiring my precious babies. I can’t imagine what Mary went through. Without her mother, a mid-wife, or the support a young woman needs, she gave birth to the Messiah!

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ruth. How lovely to have others come visit and admire your precious babies! I can picture the joy on your face and imagine it in your heart. Yes, what a challenge for this young mother – and then the awe she must have felt as she looked at the child born of her body, of the Holy Spirit, and watch shepherds and Kings come to worship him. Happy Christmas to you and yours, Ruth!

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