[This is the MILLERWRITES contribution to the 2012 Blogging A to Z April Challenge Here is my INTRODUCTION to this particular series, and an opportunity for you to influence which alphabetically aligned weird words I will comment on this month. THANK YOU for stopping by!]
NATIVITY is not necessarily a Bible word, but if someone uses the word, they are probably referring to the NATIVITY of Jesus Christ. That is, the place, condition and circumstances of His birth. And of course, His, according to this definition, was the most singular NATIVITY ever recorded! Yes, I believe His mother Mary was indeed a virgin before Jesus was born. When Mary asked, the angel explained:
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:34,35
Can I explain the 'how' of such a miracle? Of course not. If I could 'explain' it, it wouldn't be much of a meaningful, supernatural, NATIVITY after all. Theologically, I do understand that if our 'savior' was just another man, the combining of seed and egg like the rest of us are, even his later death on the cross would not amount to anything very saving. A real 'lamb of God' must be absolutely spotless (read: sinless) for His sacrifice to be sufficient for taking our rightful place in death. And only God Himself, though made incarnate as man himself, could stand the sinless test.
The word NATIVITY does not even appear in the NIV (New International Version) Bible. And even when it was used in the old English King James Version, the term was used in its generic sense, referring to the physical births of various Old Testament folks, or metaphorically to the 'birth' of Israel and other nations.
I like our common usage at Christmas, when we dwell on the miraculous and intriguing circumstances of our savior's birth. I'm kind of a sentimentalist. But beyond the angel's message to the shepherds, and the later visit from the eastern Magi, and little drummer boys and cattle lowing, there are the mundane and difficult factors to contemplate.
Traveling by donkey when Mary was 9 months pregnant? Giving birth in a crappy (literally) stable? Joseph had to find work for a while in this strange place to somehow pay their expenses. Then suddenly they had to pack whatever they had and run out of town to Egypt in the middle of the night, just before soldiers came through killing all the boys that a stupid soldier might guess is under two years old! Such a mixed bag of delights and dreads!
It would be hard to fit the whole story in that cute little creche we bring out at Christmastime, but such was the actual nature of the most noteworthy NATIVITY ever. A beautiful revelation of God's grace and love, yes, but also a vision of the terrible consequence and sober reality of the wages of sin.