“While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:6-7
The young mother takes her tiny, fragile newborn and wraps him in clothes from her own body to protect him from the chill night air. He is safe and knows that he is loved in her embrace. She has been waiting all these long months to behold him, wondering what this child – fully human and yet fully Divine – might actually look like. He is precious, and yet as she gazes into his tiny face, he could easily pass for Joseph’s son. In her heart she thanks the Lord for this blessing, as it will make their family life a little easier.
She is grateful for her husband who chose to take on this strange and awesome responsibility. When Joseph asked her father for her hand, he had no idea that with it he would also be receiving the task of caring for the Savior of the world. What a brave and kind man Joseph turned out to be! Again, she lifts thanks to the Lord for providing a good and caring husband to her and their baby.
And in the stable where they now begin their family journey, the air is still and peaceful as never before. The dark night shines with star radiance as though it were nearly day. Visitors begin to appear awkwardly in the doorway, and yet for their own hesitations they cannot help but ask to just see this new baby born into the world. As each one peers into the tiny face, the reaction is the same – a softening of the eyes and with a leap of the heart, there is spontaneous quiet worship. And while people love to see newborn infants, she knows this is no ordinary circumstance. They linger caught in adoration, and yet still aware of their intrusion on this young, new family.
Above and around them, both far and wide, the dwellers of Heaven come to sing peace and joy. Even though the air is laced with sweet song and starlight, the baby tenderly slumbers undisturbed. She wonders if this is so familiar to the child that he finds it comforting, and again, lifts up thanksgiving in her heart to the Lord – that He would even think to provide comfort to aid the child in this transition from Divine to earthly!
As the child begins to stir with his first pangs of hunger, she ever so gently takes him to her. She has wondered what her role might be in providing for the King of Kings, and yet now she understands that to love him with the very best of herself is all that is required at this moment…and for all of the moments to come.
Everlasting Father, there are no words to describe the magnitude of the gift You have given us! As Christmas approaches, my heart is filled to overflowing with thankfulness and wonder at Your love for mankind…that You would give us Your only Son, so that we can freely approach You and live in Your love! Lord, I pray for each Friend who dwells here for a moment, that You would touch their heart with that Love, and give them a glimpse of Your peace this Christmas season. For the world should pause at the manger, gaze into the face of Love, and behold the moment that changed Your universe for all eternity… In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A small note about this writing…By Christmas of 2007, I was a brand new Mom. Sophia Angelina’s entry into the world forever sweetened my heart and perspective. That first Christmas together, I found myself pondering Mary and her first moments as a new Mother — the Mother of our Savior. Especially during nighttime feedings, when the world was silent and I was loving Sophia, I imagined Mary and all that her heart held … the joy and wonder, the overwhelming thanksgiving, the perspective of being a new Mother…and this little bit of fiction was penned. Until today, only my sister has ever read it.