The First Christmas – a short story

A baby’s cry bursts into the night, and I am relieved. It’s over. Mary’s pain is over. The promised child of Israel is born. But my first thought isn’t about this baby being God’s Son, I think. Oh wow. I’m a dad, what do I do with this thing? Mary is exhausted, and the boy is crying as his cord is cut and wrapped in cloth. After a brief moment with Mary, the inn keeper’s wife takes the baby and lays Him in an  empty manger – the animal freeing trough and turns to me.

“What a way to have a baby.”
“Hmm.” I reply, unsure of what to say.
“Have you got a name?”
“Jesus” I reply, realising that Jehovah himself was our only witness. Maybe that was His plan.
“That’s an appropriate name, given the child’s birth.” I want to say more; to tell her of the visions Mary and I experienced, but I fear being turned out into the street.
“Thank you for your help. I wouldn’t have been much help”
“You did fine, dear. No worries. Had five of them myself. The years go by so quick. Enjoy these moments.” She turns to go. “If you need me, come to the door and call for me. I’ll give your new family time to adjust. The child will want to feed soon. Give him to his mother and come get me. Nursing isn’t as easy as it looks.”

I nod my thanks and go to Mary who is asleep in the hay. Jesus is also asleep, worn out by His birth. I lay next to Mary and take her hand. Lord, if you see us. Please don’t forget us. I try to get some rest before the baby will awaken.

The End.


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