The Nativity

I have loved watching this beautiful video that tells the nativity story, I find it deeply moving. And each time I watch it, certain details stand out to me that hadn’t before.

It is filmed in Aramaic and not subtitled, which lets it stand on its own feet and doesn’t distract from the story. It also beautifully lends itself to personal interpretation.

In the scene where Joseph helps Mary settle in at the stable as she’s about to give birth, she says something to him in between labor pains, and he responds with a one-word answer.

Watching it last week, it seemed to me as though she were telling him — wondering aloud, maybe pleading too: “is there no other way?” I’ve felt that way, faced with the enormous task of childbirth and caring for a newborn. Joseph’s response: no. But he says it with such love and empathy; you see him take her hand and she is visibly encouraged. The silence in the night before that piercing infant cry is powerful.

Some time later, Joseph sees Roman soldiers ominously patrolling streets. Perhaps he had gotten the warning just the night before to flee to Egypt and he wondered how he, a humble carpenter, could afford to move his family and uproot them so soon again.

Then the wise men arrive and approach him in the street. If he had been acting on instinct, he would never have let them in, yet he leads them straight to his little family. (The leader of the trio is my favorite actor in this video, what a moving performance ♥️) Joseph knew he could trust them. And then, he discovers the wise men brought extremely valuable gifts.

Much has been written about frankincense and myrrh for embalming, anointing… and how gold is a gift fit for a king. But this time it struck me that maybe these gifts were an answer to prayer — a tender mercy to Joseph and Mary — as well. Perhaps the gold is what allowed them to travel to Egypt and bring Jesus to safety.

Mary trusted the angel Gabriel, and while the birth of her first child wasn’t exactly what she had anticipated, the Lord provided. Joseph followed promptings and his family was blessed as a result. And that is another gift of the Christ child: no matter the terrible trials and daunting tasks we face, He will make a way for us. We can trust God completely. Merry Christmas, friends!