One of my favorite meditations is “time traveling” in my mind to the story of Jesus birth as recounted in Luke’s gospel – the second chapter. After the birth of Jesus, I insert myself into the scene. Try this:
Read the first chapter of Luke, and the second chapter up to verse 19. Take some deep breaths – in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth. When you have relaxed, see yourself walking on a stony, dusty path in the darkened streets of Bethlehem. You look up as you stroll and see a black sky filled with millions of tiny, twinkling stars. As you move your head from left to right, you are awed by a seemingly very large, and definitely bright star hovering right over the town of Bethlehem. As if by instinct, you find yourself magnetically drawn to that star. You follow its light to a more remote place on the outskirts of the town. In the distance you see a cave, illuminated – glowing. Curiously, you approach. Nearing the cave entrance, you see others peering attentively inside. You step forward and see the most amazing scene – a tiny, newborn in an animal’s feeding trough, lying on a bed of hay and wrapped in swaddling clothes. A radiantly beautiful young woman and an older bearded man look peacefully and proudly at the little one.
You realize that you are in the presence of Someone very special – royalty. you drop to your knees on the side of the makeshift crib and bow your head. After honoring the baby and taking in the awe of His presence, you tell the lady how beautiful her baby is. You ask, “I hope you won’t find me to forward, but may I please hold your baby, if only for a moment?” The woman smiles at you, and reaches tenderly for the infant. Slowly and carefully, she takes the baby wrapped securely in white and places Him in your arms. “He was born not only for his father and myself, but for YOU.”
You admire the wee little one. You gently unwrap His bunting to see His tiny hands. You softly brush the wisps of dark hair on His little head. With the backs of your fingers, you stroke his soft cheeks. You watch as He sleeps peacefully in your arms. His tiny pursed lips rhythmically perform a sucking motion. He is just perfect.
After admiring your Savior, you hand Him back to his mother. Again you kneel beside the manger, head bowed, eyes closed taking in the moment. After resting beside Him for a few more minutes, you rise to your feet, take one long, last look, then you thank the kind lady and man for allowing you to take part in this glorious moment. You turn to walk back into the darkness. As you pad slowly toward town, you turn back around for one last glimpse of the cavern lit by the presence of angels. You feel an indescribable peace – a settling and ease in your mind and soul which you have never before experienced. You know that you will take the memory and the effects of this miraculous experience with you wherever you go. You breath deeply in and slowly out, savoring the moment.