Published 12:29 am Monday, December 25, 2006
By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
A teenage mother gives birth in a squalid barn.
She and her young husband - not the father of the baby - believe he is the Son of God.
The story of Jesus' birth is a hallmark of the Christian tradition, yet if the story were told today, it might be difficult to understand.
The tale would have been difficult even for the people of Joseph and Mary's time to comprehend. “Even in a believing age, it is unbelievable,” Mathieu said.
Another twist in the story is the humble birth. In the gospels, only Matthew and Luke even tell the story of Jesus' birth, and only Luke relates that Jesus was “laid in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn.”
Christ's experience was human. “For whatever reason, the human condition is very important to God,” Mathieu said. “Why else does the prince become a pauper? The Bible would call that love.”
For Mathieu, there is another layer of meaning. Perhaps, he said, “The human condition is so conflicted, so undone, so messed up