I’m a pretty imaginative person, but I have a hard time envisioning what Mary must have felt as she gave birth in a lowly animal stall and placed her precious baby boy in a feeding trough. Mary knew who He was–the angel had told her. Even if she hadn’t known, every mother’s heart wants the very best for her child. Mary had to have longed for a warm room, a beautiful cradle lined with soft linen, the delicate essence of incense rather than the odor of beasts and straw welcoming her child into the world. Her heart must have ached to see her firstborn son given such a humble beginning. Yet this was God’s plan for His Son–a humble beginning, a Savior not just for the rich or powerful but for every man. For me. For you. For ALL of mankind. (Suggested hymn: “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child” by Joseph Simpson Cook.)