Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11, NIV
December 21, 2012, is the end of the world. Or so the Mayan civilization thought! But, then, my son Scott believes the same thing. He turns 40 on December 20.
Scott quipped, “Mom, I hate to take down the whole world with me, but everyone knows life ends at 40!”
When friends discover our first child was a Christmas present, they usually offer their condolences: “Poor child. He’s never had a “normal birthday.” But his mother is very glad her son was born at Christmas time.
I’ll have to admit I got a little carried away in those preceding months comparing and contrasting myself with Mary, Jesus’ mother. At least I had a “known” husband and father. I didn’t have to endure scoffing and bewilderment at my pregnancy.
My trip to the hospital was nothing like Mary’s trip to Bethlehem. I’ve often said the greatest miracle in the Bible was Mary riding that donkey (or walking) in her ninth month of pregnancy! And my delivery was pristine clean, unlike a birth in a cow’s stall (not to mention medication that made the birth less painful).
But, like Mary, I experienced the miracle of carrying a child in my womb, wondering about God’s plans for this baby. I delivered a child with ten fingers and toes, whose tiny face I could not get my fill of seeing. I was captivated with him in a way I had never felt before.
And like Mary, those first few hours and days were tough. Had all gone well, I would have taken my baby home decked out in a red Christmas stocking made by the hospital auxiliary. Instead, Scott spent his first week in a nursery ICU. He was a couple of weeks premature and had some breathing issues and jaundice. By the time we took him home, the stockings were gone. It was December 27.
Christmas Day, 1972, dawned cold and gray. Tears flowed as I thought of our little Christmas present wrapped in a hospital gown.
Forty years later (where did the time go?), Scott remains a Christmas gift from God, a constant reminder of God’s grace in our lives. Having a baby at Christmas is special. Each of Scott’s birthdays has been an opportunity to make real the story of another child’s birthday—the birthday of a King.
Do you want to know what God is like? Just look at His Son: giver of grace and truth, sacrificial love, and eternal life.
Blessings for your Christmas season,