I was just getting ready to go to bed on this precious Christmas night when I started wondering, why the birth?
Why do we focus on and celebrate the birth of Jesus? There are so many aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry that we could create holidays and traditions around, but we celebrate the beginning and the earthly end.
Birthdays are so ordinary, we all have one. There is the whole immaculate conception thing, but that feels so far removed from me. (Is it just me that feels that way?)
I don’t know how the sacrifice of a son resonates with a man’s head and heart. But I do under a mother’s heart. I often wonder how Mary had the courage or strength to accept the will of God in her life and in her son’s life. I know it was the power of the Holy Spirit and the comfort and strength He hand delivers.
Have you ever been at a big celebration and run out of wine? Or cake? Or BBQ? I have. Guess what I was not able to do? Turn water into wine. Or stones into cake. Or logs into BBQ. I cannot relate to this miracle. It feels so far away.
Have you ever been in need, but you shared anyway? I have, too. And I have realized in those moments that I didn’t need quite as much as I thought. And I have had a need met in surprising ways.
But I’ve never picked up 12 baskets of leftovers after sharing the last little bit I had.
I’ve never seen the lame walk, the blind see, or the cripple cured. I’ve never seen the physically dead raised to life. (I’ve seen the spiritually dead revived, which is pretty incredible.)
I think we celebrate the birth and spend a month leading up to it in Advent, preparing our hearts for our King because it is the birth that reveals the humanity of Christ. Especially for women.
I’ve delivered babies. I’ve kissed their sweet, wrinkly, soft new skin. I’ve breathed in their sweet scent. I’ve nursed them at my breast, and I have watched them grow. It is picturing the Lord of Lords as an infant that does me in every time. Because our God humbled Himself to take on our human nature, to live a human life, and to die a dreadful death.
It is the realization that His earthly beginnings were humble and lowly that makes the act and the sacrifice so poignant. It is the birth of Christ that drives home the incredible cost He paid for my life to ransom me. It is this celebration that prepares my heart for the coming sorrow and joy of our Savior on the cross, buried, and resurrected so that I can experience freedom and forgiveness.
Do you feel it, friend? Our Savior was born of a virgin, a girl who said yes to God, born in a stable, come to save us and set us free.
All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). ISAIAH 7:14 NLT