Will you pray with me? Holy God, you speak to us in word and song and silence. Open our hearts that we may receive your Spirit of love. And now, may the words of my mouth and the thoughts of all of our hearts bring us ever closer to you, O God, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.
The darkness deepens. The night grows long and cold. You can hear the wind whistling through the cracks in the walls, the creak of an old tree outside, the scurry or squeak of mice in the hay, the occasional mooing of a cow or braying of a donkey. Perhaps you hear the yip or the howl of a dog in the distance.
The moans of child birth have increased in intensity. Joseph, not sure how else to help, wipes Mary’s sweating brow and tries to believe the words of encouragement he whispers to her: “You’re doing great, sweetheart. Not long now. It’ll all be okay. Just breathe.”