Wonder In The Familiar

“Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.” (Luke 1:57-58)

When we read the words “Now the time came” in Luke 1, readers can be sure John’s birth story could fill pages. In a moment, an ordinary day for Elizabeth transitioned into a time of laboring and subsequent rejoicing. My appreciation for birth stories has evolved since becoming a labor and delivery nurse− what some consider too much information are simply elements of a job I love. Therefore, when I sat around a dinner table to celebrate my sister’s birthday, I shifted the conservation to my parents: “Okay, so tell us about the day she was born.” I smiled as my mom and dad started sharing the events of a November day that started like any other, bouncing off each other as they filled in long-forgotten nuances on the arrival of their first-born child. The nurses had me position this way... I was feeling so sick… her heart rate got stressed towards the end... Finally, the time came for her to be born. And just like that, my parents transitioned from a family of two to soothing the cries of their newborn daughter. I consider this story, albeit familiar to me, to be anything but ordinary.

As we step into this Christmas week, my prayer is that we never lose our wonder with the Christmas story. Millennia separate us from John’s birth and that of Jesus’ in the next chapter, but for each of us, there came a time to be born. None of our stories are ordinary or less than a miracle; therefore, our familiarity with Christ’s birth must not give way to complacency. 

John’s birth prepares the way for a Savior who is the author of creation. The one who knits us together has been knit with His own tongue to preach peace, hands to heal, and a pumping heart with the blood to save us. Savor the details of when a newborn son looked into the Bethlehem sky while cradled in His mother’s arms. This story is anything but ordinary, and I pray this week reveals new wonder and gratitude in the familiar. Our Messiah is born!

By Bethany Taylor

Bethany has been calling Immanuel Baptist her church home since 2014. A graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, she is an obstetric nurse here in Lexington.

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