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Hope in the Heartland

The baby King

(Editor’s note: This is the conclusion of a four-part series, leading to Christmas.)

Pastor, Gracepoint church

Several hours later, Joseph sat on the dirt floor and stared in awe at the miracle cradled in the crook of his arm. Light from a small fire danced across the perfect face of the waking baby, causing him to blink his dark eyes. Joseph reached out, gently stroked the small, chubby face, and then caressed the tiny hand that wiggled from under the strips of cloth. Joseph placed his forefinger across the baby’s soft palm, feeling a rush of astonishment when the tiny hand grasped onto his finer.

The Messiah was holding his hand.

Joseph walked over to the feeding trough and carefully laid Jesus on the straw bedding, and then sat next to Mary and watched her as she slept. Her lips moved slightly and Joseph leaned in to hear her whisper, “Jesus.” He smiled as he remembered the look that had filled her eyes only moments earlier as excited shepherds spoke about the angel’s message that had sent them to search for the newborn baby — “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” — the angel had told them.

Joseph glanced from mother to baby and wondered what the future held for them all. The shepherds’ report had sent Joseph’s mind racing down paths that held more questions than answers. And now, in the stillness of the Bethlehem night, Joseph pondered how this baby would save His people from their sins.

Then, from across the manger, he heard the bleating of a newborn lamb.

Last modified Dec. 23, 2010

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