So idyllic. The manger, Joseph and Mary, baby in a manger, shepherds kneeling before Him, and a star shining high above the scene. It looks so serene and quiet. In actuality I am guessing it was anything but still or silent.
I can see more than just Mary and Joseph in that stable. People were streaming from all over the country to come to Bethlehem for the census. The inns of the day were probably full days before, and many and to find other shelter. A stable with hay would be a good place for that comfort. Their animals would be there. Donkey’s hee-hawing, cattle lowing, sheep bleating. Maybe even a mouse or two scurrying around screeching. The smell must have been awful with all those animals! The shepherds most likely brought their herd with them. They would not leave them defenseless.
Joseph and Mary had no choice, and our depiction of the scene is what we would like to believe. A silent night, filled with only the wonder of the newborn babe – the King of Kings wrapped in flesh.