Her third pregnancy. She was bigger than she should have been a month before her due date. An x-ray was suggested. There were no ultrasounds in her day. Two weeks before Christmas, the news was shared. Twins. They were having twins.
Early Christmas morning. A month to go when her water breaks. Twin girls. Womb mates. Born too soon.
There were already two children at home. A 4-year old and a 2-year old. Oh. They were wanted. They were loved. They were welcome. Perhaps not by their older brother. After all. His Christmas had been ruined. It was the worst Christmas ever. That’s what he said.
I can understand. What kid wants to be dragged out of bed in the middle of the night and go to Grandma’s house. Especially when he knew the next morning was Christmas. No time to open the presents under the tree. No 4-year old would be happy about that.
Identical twins born on Christmas Day was unusual. The births were announced on the radio. Celebrations were in order.
So the family celebrated. Gifts were given. Double gifts. Matching clothes. Two of everything.
They were small babies. Premature. They were kept at home for 4 months while they grew. Oh. They had visitors. Curious onlookers. Friends and family anxious to see twins. Twin births in the family weren’t unusual. Twin births seem to be hereditary on both sides of the family. It was meant to be.
The parents took them home to a small house. Four kids. An outdoor bathroom. It was winter. Some nights the babies would sleep between their parents, so they could be kept warm.
Two years later, the family had moved. Farm country. Again, it was winter. All day, they smelled smoke but saw nothing. Until it was too late. The home engulfed in flames was burned to the ground. Everything they owned was gone. Fire in the attic, they were told. The oldest, now six, arrived home from school to find his family homeless.
The father built the family home. Three more sons were added. The twins grew. They left home. Married men of God. They faithfully serve where God has planted them.
His birth had been predicted. The teenage mother was caught unaware. Oh. She had heard the prophecies. Never did she imagine she would be chosen to carry this child. Virgin birth. She was engaged. This pregnancy could end her life. If she was found guilty of adultery. How did the man know she was telling the truth? He thought to divorce her. Privately. But God spoke to him. In a dream. Marry her. He said. She has been faithful to you. She is mine. The baby is mine. Name him Jesus.
It was tax season. Time to be counted. Joseph and Mary, heavy with child, arrived in Bethlehem. Alone and lonely. Tired and tried. The stable was empty, save for the animals. Nowhere else to stay. They sat to rest. And sleep. Just the two of them. The baby arrived. What had been a quiet night, a night to catch their breath, suddenly became eventful.
If they had dared to question the child’s sovereignty before his birth, they now knew who he was. He truly was God’s son. What other explanation could there be for all the strange happenings?
Angels announced his birth. Shepherds came to worship. Wise men later brought gifts. Another dream. Move the child. It isn’t safe. Oh. They knew he was the savior of the world. They had heard prophesies about their son. What he would accomplish. What he would suffer. But who knew where they were? Who was hunting for them? They must protect their child. God’s child. At all costs.
Those in authority felt threatened. How could a newborn baby be a ruler? How could a 2-year old overthrow their government? He must be found and removed. Along with many boys age 2 and under. None were exempt.
He became wiser every year. He grew into a man. He grew closer to God. He was well respected. Until he wasn’t.
He was born to die. He died for all.