Since I was blessed to give birth to our seventh child, sixth boy, December 16th, I was able to appreciate more deeply the experience Mary had that night in the stable.
Not because I gave birth in a stable, of course, but because so close to Christmas I was able to look at the face of my child, who had been kicking and squirming within my womb just minutes before, and see how precious Jesus must have been to Mary that night. His tiny hands, his precious lips, the smell of a fresh born babe…he must have stirred her heart deeply. Instant love.
I don’t know about you, but I often have a very father-like relationship with Christ. I’ve come to truly appreciate Him in my life as a redeeming Lord. But, the aspect of His birth humanizes Him so deeply I instantly fall in love with His humanity. And, even more so, I quickly empathize with Mary, the mother of a living sacrifice. The depth of a mother’s love wasn’t lost on her.
I look into the eyes of my own son, as I have many times before, and I see the simplicity of Jesus’ precious life, given for mine that we might live.
As she snuggled with her newborn son I wonder what went through her mind…so many questions.
I read something this season that I hadn’t ever read before. It was about Christ being born and wrapped in swaddling clothes. Swaddling clothes were clothes they wore around their waist as they traveled in case someone died. Their travels were far from easy so often people would not survive and they would wrap them in the swaddling clothes and bury them.
Christ was born into this world and wrapped in His father’s (Joseph) swaddling clothes…He was wrapped in death clothes. The picture God created through this simple act was that Christ was born to die.
I get chills thinking about that. I think of my own son and how deeply it wounds me to consider my child being born to die. It cuts so deep…
Mary didn’t just bring the savior of the world to life through her womb and her incredible trust in our Lord, she gave Him life for the sole purpose of His death.
I can’t even wrap my mind around that. And, although she might not have known the in’s and out’s of God’s ferocious plan to save His people, she knew Jesus’ life was not about living more than it was about dying.
She raised this precious boy…all the falls, bumps, bruises, tears, laughter and love that comes with raising a boy, and then watched Him walk to the cross.
She gave us the ultimate gift that night in the stable. Without fear and trembling, fully sacrificed to Her God and SURRENDERED to His plan…
She brought into the world our savior. Tiny, precious, tender, and human.
Oh that I would be able to SURRENDER to the Lord in the same way Mary did all those years ago.
To give my children to the Lord…to fall to my knees in prayer over their lives for all I cannot control…
Father stir in me, in us, a deep passion for what YOU would have for us, our children and our families and be able to surrender completely, even to the point of wrapping our children in swaddling clothes.