Luke 2: 1-7 (NRSVA)
1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
For Mary the mother of God—
no shared moments
with other mums-to-be;
no antenatal classes,
no relaxation or breathing exercises,
no gas and air or epidural,
just the cold reality
of pushing a fragile life
into a hostile world
the way women have done through all the generations.
And what of Joseph?
Was he banished as men folk often are?
Or were his the only
helping hands available?
The only hands to catch the Son of God
as he was evacuated
from the safety of the womb
into a world unprepared for his coming?
And would it be any different today?
Or would God’s son still be born
round the back and out of the way,
visible only to those
who pause and ponder
and kneel down and worship?