Day 8- God with us
Emmanuel. God with us. This is the moment we have all been waiting for! Jesus is born.
Mary gives birth. Pain and anguish are followed by relief and overwhelming joy as she sees her son for the first time. The pain of childbirth, the very curse given to Eve at the first sin, produces the One who will save mankind from it. So much hope, so much anticipation, so many dreams for the future are wrapped in this tiny bundle. Every child is a miracle, but this one is the Son of God. The long awaited Savior with ten perfect little fingers and ten little toes has finally come. The King of Kings with such alert eyes for a newborn. The Wonderful Counselor with an adorable nose. The Prince of Peace with that precious tongue just barely poking out as he yawns. And Mary treasures all of these things in her heart. And what a treasure it is!
And the new father! The pride that Joseph felt when first holding his son, the protective flood of love for this tiny child, was only a small reflection of the deeper expression of our Father's love for us, poured out in this gift of his only Son. What we receive with joy was God's sacrificial gift given in love. How amazing to know that our Father loves us so much!
Mary holds this baby, so tiny, yet an enormous burden. She will love this child born in a barn, raise Him moving from country to country to avoid death threats, lose Him to ministry (who are my mother and brothers?), and even watch Him die a horrific death on a cross. The path will tear at her very soul, but for tonight, she holds in her arms the very One who will be her salvation. As this baby reaches out his arms with a first cry, he enters the world the same way He will leave it, arms stretched out with a final cry. But even that last moment, as far ahead in the story as it is, is not the end!
Have you experienced that flood of love for another human that is only a taste of the Father's love for us?
Have you also experienced the pain of raising children? Losing them in some way?
In what ways have you expressed your gratitude for God's gift of his Son this Christmas?
We wonder why Christmas time always seems so bitter sweet, and I think it is because even the first Christmas started out that way. All great acts of love come at a cost. But true acts of selfless love are always worth the price.
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