So I just went through Matthew in my morning bible study and am now going through Luke and 1 Samuel. I have a few thoughts, funny that both of the first chapters of the two books speak on childbirth.
First of all, in Luke it talks about the birth of Jesus. Please realize that I am in no way trying to be disrespectful to the word of the Lord, I just noticed some things from the 40 weeks pregnant vantage point that made me think. Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born. Joseph was still a virgin because the bible states that he did not know Mary his wife until she had brought forth her firstborn son (Jesus) in Matthew 1:25. Can you imagine the awkwardness there? Here is this young girl who had never had anything happen to her body before and all of a sudden BOOM contraction hits. Joseph is the only one there to help her. She's in a barn. No epidural here. No cleanliness here! All women can probably attest that the thought of childbirth is bad enough on its own when you think of all the tearing and stretching involved, imagine being a virgin and having that all be completely new and foreign to you. And then there's Joseph.
I pity the poor guy. No bradley classes, no learning the breathing patterns. Heck, he had never seen his wife in anything but the latest desert robe (probably...) and then BAM! She's baring all for him to see and what a sight it is. Childbirth ain't pretty, according to the pictures in our childbirth class. Gruesome, scary, bloody, painful, but not pretty. And he was the ONLY one there to help her. Do you think her labor was any easier because she was giving birth to the Lord? I don't know. Luke glosses over this and says "So it was the time came for her to be delivered and she brought forth a Son". There is a lot that went on in that sentence that we don't know about.
Then here is what really got me. I understand that Jesus was the Lord from the time of His birth and that Mary knew that He was God. But...Mary was still a woman. Not the woman the catholics paint her to be, she was just a woman. She had just given birth in a stable and she had a healthy beautiful child that was probably a mix of a mystery and a gift to her. I can't imagine how she loved Him at that time when she first wrapped him in swaddling cloths and held him tight. She was probably still recovering from labor and delivery when these hairy smelly men show up to worship her child, the Lord God of Israel in the form of a baby.
Yep. I was thinking about how awkward it would have been to have your blood and placenta on the straw in the stable and then these guys show up to see the baby. And shepherds in those days...well rumor has it they were stinky men that were far from the top acceptable tiers of society. Yet this is how God planned everything to happen. I just have a whole new respect for Mary in this story now.