First Words

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

(Luke 2:7, NET)

So, so. Here you are. Shh, now, it’s going to be all right, yes––shh, let’s let your mother sleep. 

How is it that I can hold you? Not even the great Moses could look you in the face, but I look into your eyes and I see––what? Who?

And the angel––was I dreaming? Are you really the One we’ve been hoping for? Will you set us free? I have no armor to give you. I work in wood and stone. I have no spear, no sword. I build things—farm tools, furniture. What good are these to you? 

What good am I to you?

A man’s son is supposed to be, well, his son. But I––I am more yours than you are mine.

Why did God choose me? He could have chosen a great man. Someone who lives in a fine home. I’m so sorry I couldn’t even find a room for you. I tried.

But this I vow—I will watch over you. I will protect you and your mother to my last breath. And I will love you as surely, as deeply as God allows. 

I know this is foolishness—that I should doubt after all this, after the dream, after what Mary said. But I am a weak man. May I ask for something—anything––to confirm, to show me that you are the One? I need courage. Please help me.

Shh, shh, it’s all right. I’m sorry––what am I saying? I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked. This darkness! I can feel it, like a crushing thing. A taking thing. Is this the sign? Does the darkness want you? Want to hurt you? Silence your cry? Shh, shh. The darkness will not overcome you!

What’s that? Who? Shepherds!


Who among us in this crowded darkness is great enough to welcome the King into our home? And yet, there is ample room for Him in every humble heart. Welcome Him this Christmas!