Ordinariness and wonder after Jesus’ birth

Adoration of the Shepherds / Murillo. Simeon and Anna see Jesus

Adoration of the Shepherds / Bartolomé-Esteban Murillo, ca. 1650

In a stable in Bethlehem, Mary had a baby. She was certainly neither the first or last woman to deliver a child under less than ideal conditions. But she had an ordinary childbirth experience after an ordinary pregnancy.

She delivered no ordinary child. Mary conceived Jesus while she was still a virgin, a miracle that has happened exactly once. Angels announced Jesus’ birth to shepherds, who rushed to Bethlehem to see him.

The ordinary and the extraordinary persisted side by side throughout Jesus’ life. Luke’s gospel records both a week following his birth.… Read the rest