I have a few moments to write a blog…a few moments that I probably should be cleaning. I can’t believe that Christmas is only a week away! It has really snuck up on me this year. Ben and I even debated whether we wanted to put up a tree this year…the pine needles that get everywhere, the glitter from the ornaments, the mess of it all. However, I decided that even though Charlotte will have no memory of this Christmas, I wanted to still make it special. Plus, I thought she would enjoy looking at a Christmas tree. I was right; she loved watching me decorate and seemed to really get a kick when it fell over…about 5 times.
But I did go much lighter on décor this year. I kept thinking to myself, “Is this worth cleaning up,” and that made the process much simpler. I also have been thinking much more about what Christmas truly means. Having a child has greatly altered my perspective of Christmas day. It is painful to admit, but many times I have been absorbed with both the receiving and giving of gifts. Yet, this Christmas I have thought much more about the nativity story which is the true reason we celebrate the season.
I think often of Mary and what she went through. She became a mother in a town where she was a stranger without her mom or dad and with a new husband. She gave birth next to farm animals without the benefits of a physician or the comfort of a bed. Mary knew that God had blessed her with this task, but I imagine she was incredibly scared as well. She then had to rush off with this new, helpless babe because He was in danger. And I can only imagine the pain which Mary went through as she learned that other babies had died in the search for her Son. How she must have wept for those innocent children just as she would one day weep for her own Son’s death.
Mary’s story is amazing but the story that has made me weep this holiday season is the story of a Father sacrificing His only son. I love Charlotte beyond reason and would do ANYTHING to protect her. I would NEVER send her into harms way. Yet God sent Christ, His son to earth as a baby; right in the middle of harms way. Christ was just as helpless and in need of His mother as Charlotte is now. It is a mystery I cannot comprehend. And our Heavenly Father new that this perfect baby was going to suffer more than any human being on earth. God watched as His son was born in the lowliest of places. He watch as Christ was chased, mocked, and betrayed. What’s more, God didn’t just watch but allowed it. And then God watched as the Prince of Peace was beaten and abused. He allowed His Son who was blameless to die for a world that despised Him; for a people that betrayed Him, for a nation that rejected Him. God gave the weight of the world’s sins to His Son. Christ died for me, a sinner through and through. A girl who much too often has thought of herself rather than others, who has held tightly to things of this world rather than eternal riches, who has placed so many other things before the One who created her, who was crucified for her. This Christmas I am grappling with the reality that many years ago a baby, a Prince, was born to die for me.
“Nails, spear, shall pierce Him through,
The Cross be borne, for me, for you:
Hail, hail, the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.”