Doug and I had three daughters before we had Klint, our first son and later Kris, our second son. When the nurses laid Klint into my arms, we cried (Doug & I, & Klint too!). He was born in June, but when they laid him into my arms thoughts of Mary and the Son she gave birth to, filled my mind.
The story about Jesus coming, His life and His death. These thoughts brought tears to my eyes many times during those first few days together with Klinton. I don't know if I would have experienced that so strongly without having a son. During that time, I wondered if all women thought of this like I was. For me, having a son born, definitely shed a new light on the birth of Jesus Christ and the unanswered questions that had to have been a big part of Mary's life after.
I've written before of the Christmas song, "Silent Night". It could not have been a silent night when Jesus was born. It was busy, busy, busy. Every place was full. No room for a pregnant lady to rest! Just a stable out back. The stable animals had to be disturbed having a woman in labor in there with them. Then sometime during that night a newborn baby cried out.
The manger scene.
The main focus for many during the Christmas season. An unequalled gift was given to mankind that night! God born as a babe. The mystery of His birth, His life, His death and His ressurection is now revealed to those who really want to know. (It's all found in a great book, The Bible.)
I've been reading a little book called "Christmas Is..." (Created by Honor Books)was given to us in 2000 by Doug's parents. It is a little book full of interesting things about Christmas traditions. It gives just enough to whet your appetite for more information!
From the book:
"In Italy, the Presepio or crib is as characteristic of Christmas as the tree is in Germany."
After reading that I got online to look for pictures. I googled presepio and came up with bazillion sites -----written in Italian. I looked at pictures of creches. Some life-sized scenes, which most presepio's in Italy are. I tried to find the original site in Bethlehem, but it has been destroyed.
The first re-enactment using a manger, crib or presepio is said to have been set up by St. Francis.
"St. Francis wanted people to remember that Jesus was born in a humble stable. He asked a farmer friend of his to help by bringing an ox, a donkey, a manger and some straw to a nearby cave. On Christmas Eve, St. Francis and the people of Greccio met in this cave. By candlelight, they acted out the story of Jesus' birth." Read more by Bill Petro.
..."consider this rare, raw, real point of fact regarding the original manger scene. Jesus was born at night into a dark, dirty, working stable with dung-crusted straw among filthy, unsanitary animals. But you know what, in some ways it was cleaner than some of the sin-crusted hearts where He would choose to live right now if He was welcome. The inn was full, yet God’s glory brought light into the darkness. Is there room at the inn of our hearts this Christmas season?" Read more about Christmas by Randy Weiss.
The manger, the crib, or the presepio, the place where Jesus was born.
I believe it --- this story did happen.