He Loves Immensely

For the past several years, I have seen articles at Christmas time saying that some parts of our traditional Christmas story are probably historically inaccurate, especially that Jesus was born in a cold, lonely stable after Mary and Joseph had been rejected by all the inns in town. Palestine at the time of Jesus had a hospitality culture, meaning that it would have been shameful to leave a man and his pregnant wife without a place to stay. Instead, Joseph and Mary probably stayed with Joseph’s relatives in a room attached to the house which was used to keep more fragile animals. I wanted to write a children’s story for my own daughter along these lines, and to tell it in rhyme, since when I was younger we loved to read Bible stories in rhyme. So here is the result of my thoughts – I hope you enjoy this new take on the Christmas story! 

A long time ago in a faraway place

A girl lived named Mary, of beauty and grace.

One day as she sat at her work there appeared

An angel so majestic and great that she feared

But the angel said, Mary, don’t be afraid

I’ve a message from God of His great love displayed

You see you’ve found favor in His holy sight

And He has a task – you will bring this world light.

For you, dear, the mother of Immanuel,

Messiah whose birth our God did foretell.

And Mary then knelt in her gentle way,

“Your servant I am, may it be as you say.”

She thought then of Joseph, her chosen fiancée,

Would he be angry – oh what would he say?

She went to Elizabeth, also with child,

Who greeted with joy: “On you God has smiled.”

Her words cheered up Mary, who trusted that God

Would speak to her Joseph, and he would be awed

She stayed until baby, sweet John, he was born,

And home then to Naz’reth, and would Joseph scorn?

But an angel to him had appeared there as well,

And of the miraculous child he did tell.

So Joseph took Mary then home as his wife,

But not was the end of the change in their life,

For Caesar said, “Come and be counted, I desire

To know all the people in this land I’ve acquired.”

So Joseph to Mary said, “What do you say?

The journey to Bethlehem takes seven days.”

Can you travel so far with a babe on the way?”

But Mary just laughed, “My time’s far away,

I’m strong, I can walk, and besides you must tell

The names of your family so I know them well.

It is there we will stay when at last we arrive.”

So off on their journey, days three four and five,

And when finally there, the door flung open wide,

“Oh, Joseph, oh Mary!” They were welcomed inside.

“So happy we are to have you here with us.

But sadly, with all of this great census fuss,

The guest room is full – it really might burst!

But in all our hearts our guests always come first.

We will change and arrange our house till we find,

A place that is perfect with baby in mind.

In fact, there’s a room in this very house,

Where the animals stay, a sheep or a mouse,

It keeps them from harm, it helps them stay warm,

The perfect place for a babe to be born

For it meets all the laws for the clean and unclean,

With a manger to lay him – a beautiful scene.”

And while they were there, the time indeed came

For baby’s arrival, the women exclaim,

“Now Joseph, you go, you aren’t needed here,

Us women will care for the wife you hold dear.”

So Joseph, so anxious, left wife in their care,

The women helped Mary the baby to bear.

And when tiny baby came into the world,

With bright shining eyes, tiny fingers were curled,

They wrapped him so tightly in long strips of cloth,

And laid him inside of the animal’s trough.

And all of the family around tiny child

With hearts bound in love, how all of them smiled.

When suddenly in burst the shepherds outside!

“We heard from the angels the good news!” they cried,

“The Messiah is born!” And they knelt ‘fore his bed,

“We must go, and tell all of this news,” thus they said.

And off they did go, with great shouts all the way,

“Our redeemer, Messiah, is with us today!”

And everyone looked all around them with joy,

They had waited so long – could this be the boy?

And Mary she treasured these things in her heart,

And pondered what meaning for men, this new start.

Ah yes, gentle Mary, indeed did not know

That a sword, sharp would pierce through her very own soul.

For how would it be that this baby of hers

Would save all the world from its terrible curse

Except through a painful and terrible death

Where he took all our sins, inhaled them like breath

So God the most holy could once again be

Connected to those He loves immensely.

For God wants to save all the world from its pain

And bring people into his presence again.

He lovingly made us with purpose and plan,

His love is the freedom of each woman and man.