The gospels of Matthew (Matthew 1:18-24; 2:1-23, NIV) and Luke (Luke 2:4-16) contain the birth stories of Jesus that we are accustomed to reading and hearing, especially at Christmas. The gospel of Mark has no account of Jesus’s birth. The gospel of John records the birth of Jesus by saying, “The Word became flesh.” (John 1:14)
Even Matthew’s and Luke’s gospels tell us little about the birth itself. We are not told of Mary’s pain, for example, though she surely suffered pain during her labor, particularly in light of the circumstances under which the birth occurred. We are told more about what happened before the birth occurred (angels appearing to Mary and Joseph) and afterward (angels, shepherds, Magi).
One of the most significant revelations to us about Jesus’s birth has to do with trust. Under stressful, even crazy, and almost unbelievable circumstances, Mary and Joseph trusted God to keep his word and care for them and their son. There is also a developing trust between Mary and Joseph to watch out for each other as wife and husband and as mother and father.
Try to think about the record of Jesus’s birth as though you’ve never heard it before. Joseph and Mary were engaged. There had been no sexual consummation of a romantic relationship, much less a marriage. But Mary was pregnant through some type of preternatural union between her and the Holy Spirit. Joseph considered ending the relationship. Mary was frightened. After angels appeared to each of them bearing news that Mary was carrying the Son of God, Joseph and Mary decided to proceed with the marriage and await the birth of their son.
Are they crazy? No! They embody one of the most powerful examples of trust in God and trust between a husband and wife, soon to be a father and mother. It is the kind of trust that should accompany all births.
Taken from A TIME TO BE BORN: Meditations on the Birth of a Child