The Jesse Tree symbol for today represents Mary so I thought I’d share something I wrote many years that I hope reflects the similarities and differences of becoming a mother then and now. My brother used it as an alternative Christmas Day service reading. Feel free to do the same but please let me know that you have in the Comments and do acknowledge the source. Thank you.
NATIVITY – A Reading for 2 Voices
(One voice each for italics and non italics; read together words in bold)
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
In these days the local GP decreed that all expectant mothers should give birth in hospital.
And everyone went to his own town to register.
And all the pregnant women chose one of three hospitals and began ‘shared care’.
So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David because he belonged to the house and line of David.
So Rob drove from Fleet to Basingstoke, to the North Hampshire Hospital, because that was where his first child had been born.
He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
He went there with his wife, Liz, whose waters had broken and who was having contractions every 3-4 minutes.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
While they were there, after some pethidine and the use of a TENS machine, she gave birth to her second son.
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
She dressed him in a Babygro and placed him in a cot in a sideroom on the labour ward because they were going home in just 6 hours.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
And there was her mother waiting back at the house, looking after the elder boy throughout the morning.
An angle of the Lord appeared to them and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord!”
At lunchtime Rob appeared at the house and said to his son and mother in law, “It’s a boy! You’ve got a baby brother!”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a manger.
So that evening, they drove back to the hospital and found Liz and the baby in the sideroom, along with a Mr Potato Head toy from the baby to his big brother.
When they had seen him, they spread the news concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
When the paediatrician had seen the baby, they all went home together for a celebratory bottle of wine and a takeaway curry.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
But Liz ate little; she treasured up all her memories of the past 24 hours and remembered them often.
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.
On the last day of Rob’s paternity leave, within the 6 week limit to register, he was named Padraig David, the names his parents had agreed 9 months previously on holiday in Ireland.
After Jesus was born, wise men from the east came and asked, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
After Padraig was born, local friends and far off relations telephoned and asked, “When can we come and visit the new baby? We got your birth announcement and we’d love to see him.”
On coming to the house, they saw the baby with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him.
On coming to the house, they took photographs of the newly enlarged family, made a fuss of his brother, and cuddled the baby.
Then they opened their treasures and presented gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
Then they opened their bags and gave presents of money, baby clothes and toys.
This was how the birth of Padraig
Jesus came about.