24th December 2016


“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Too many decades ago I had the privilege of being a staff nurse in the labour ward of the local maternity hospital. My principle task was the new-born infant, so the type of birth was therefore of primary concern to me. Were there complications? On arrival, did the baby need special equipment such as an incubator, medications, etc.? Sadly, there were many difficult births, as the hospital was a central birthing centre. It was always a relief to see a mother have a normal birth – what was then known as a ‘spontaneous vertex delivery’ the obstetricians used the acronym SVD.

Undoubtedly two thousand years ago, giving birth without pre-natal classes, antiseptics, analgesics or general obstetric care would increase the level of hazard to mother and child enormously. Indeed the statistics, were they available, would reflect a shockingly high level of maternal death. Tradition has the location of the birth of Christ as a stable, though the translation in the Bible is actually the Greek word kataluma, and can mean guest chamber, lodging place or inn. The only other time this word was used in the New Testament, it means a furnished, large, upper story room within a private house, where it is translated guest chamber, not inn (Mark 14:14-15).   Regardless, the location was transient and could hardly be considered a ‘home confinement.’ In Luke 2:7 it says, “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

There they were trying to fulfil civil law—Luke 2:1 reads, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.” The timing could not have been worse! Even if they chose to journey days or weeks before the birth, the journey would have been arduous – 120 kilometres in all. Despite the facts, Mary and Joseph had total peace of mind knowing that God was with them. The account in Luke 1:26–56 tells us that the angel did not mention any birth complications, just that she would deliver the Son of the Most High. Joseph too had his encounters with God’s messenger, recorded in Matthew 1:20.

Effectively Mary and Joseph did have an SVD birth—a normal birth. Except it was far from normal, this was the human birth of the Son of God—how could it be considered normal? The world would never be the same! As Mary and Joseph trusted God, so must we. Read Mathew 28:20—God is with us no matter what. We will be delivered of our troubles; we are in God’s hands—a spiritual SVD!

Thank you, Father, for the first coming of your Son Jesus, we know it is the prequel of His second coming which heralds an end to the troubles of this world. Holy Spirit help us to trust you more.

Study by Irene Wilson


About the Author: 2015-01-24 Irene Wilson & Joy Barlow prepare brunch
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Herts. WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

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One Response to “24th December 2016”

  1. John Rodgers on December 24th, 2016 2:32 pm

    Hello Irene
    Thank you for your day by day. It is such a pleasure to read an accurate account of the place of the birth of Jesus. God would not have allowed His Son to be born in a filthy stable as I have often heard said in mainstream churches. This is a false assumption because of the manger where He was laid which is a container for the animals food. There are at least eight more false assumptions surrounding his birth. It makes an interesting study.
    Thank you again John Rodgers

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