And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
This week has been full… very, very full. But full of a few very, very wonderful things. The most wonderful of them being a brand new nephew. He is the most precious, sweet, and tiny little man. I already love him immensely, and have tried to spend as much time as I can with him.
So, as you can imagine, the correlation between Christmas and the birth of this little boy has been on my mind quite often. I love the concept of new life in the form of our family’s little gift and I marvel at the concept of Mary giving birth so many thousands of years ago. It’s amazing to me the protective hand over Mary and Joseph’s life in their travels. It amazes me that she gave birth with no one but Joseph supporting her. It amazes me, that unless a random midwife showed up, Joseph probably delivered their child. It amazes me that animals surrounded them, as they all were shielded from a cold evening. The scenario in and of itself is a miracle beyond comprehension.
But there is something that has been amazing me more than ever this week. The curse that was implemented because of the fall of man, was the catalyst to the saving of the sins brought by the fall of man. The pains of childbirth, a horrible curse, secondary only to separation with God, was the specific route that oneness with God could eternally be achieved. The significance of Mary experiencing the pains of childbirth in order to bring forth the savior of the world astounds me. What a miracle. What a creative and merciful God.
On top of all of this, we can be “born again” into the likeness of Christ. This image of birth involves, once again, the painful process of labor, that causes us to be transformed into newness like a newborn child. Following Christ is not just a prayer and then living the way we once were, but instead struggling and changing, while learning to know God and find our purpose in Him.
Since meeting our little Christmas gift this week, I am so much more appreciative of the gift that was the baby Christ. That he did not come as royalty, but instead as a vulnerable infant, makes his sacrifice of the throne of Heaven that much more significant. Praise God for His creativity and for the fulfillment of a much-anticipated promise.
“It was not a silent night. There was blood on the ground. You could hear a woman cry, in the alleyways that night on the streets of David’s town. And the stable was not clean. And the cobblestones were cold. And little Mary full of grace, with the tears upon her face had no mother’s hand to hold.It was a labor of pain, it was a cold sky above, but for the girl on the ground in the dark, with every beat of her beautiful heart it was a labor of love.Noble Joseph at her side callused hands and weary eyes. There were no midwives to be found, in the streets of David’s town in the middle of the night. So he held her and he prayed, shafts of moonlight on his face, but the baby in her womb, He was the maker of the moon. He was the Author of the faith that could make the mountains move.It was a labor of pain, it was a cold sky above, but for the girl on the ground in the dark, with every beat of her beautiful heart it was a labor of love.”— Labor of Love by Andrew Peterson