Merry Christmas Eve Everyone!
I hope that today is filled with moments of calm and quiet. Times where you can stop and think about what the manger scene really looked like. I read an article a couple days ago that talked about how the North American church has cleaned up the manger to make it pretty and quiet, but that it was probably anything but. After having a baby this year, I know that birth is not tidy, or quiet, or calm. There is anxiousness, it’s messy, it’s loud, it takes everything in you. Mary is always portrayed as sitting peacefully next to a glowing babe in straw. I don’t know about you, but after Alex was born I was glowing and on a high, but I was messy and tired and anything but calm. I can’t even imagine what Mary must have been thinking. The journey to the stable while being 9 months pregnant. Knowing that an angel had told you that you were giving birth to the Saviour of the world. Being young. Scared. Uncertain. Wondering if you were insane because you saw angles and were supposedly giving birth to the Saviour of the world.
Jesus didn’t come into the world clean and quiet and calm. He came into the world in the mess of birth. The beautiful mess of birth. Mary would have been tired. She would have been elated from the rush of bringing life into the world. Realizing her body had created life. And not just any life. How did she feel as she held her baby in her arms for the first time, looking at his birth swelled face and pointy head and connecting the human and the holy. Knowing this was the child that was to redeem man in a way that only God knew. I remember the feeling, the rush of that last push, knowing I was “done” the hard work of bringing Alex into the world. That from that point on he was there, he was mine, and he was a person. He would grow and become a person with thoughts and ideas and smiles and laughter.
I think the process of carrying and birthing a child has me thinking about the story of Jesus coming to earth so differently this year. It was not quiet or calm. It was not clean.
Today has started out in the best way. The snow is falling down, it’s quiet. I think we might take the kids for a walk in the snow and burn off a bit of energy. Then we’ll make a trip in to see Grandad. He’s in a seniors home now, which is new and different, but part of the new reality. This year is our year to have my brother, sister-in-law and new nephew with us for Christmas Eve so they’ll be coming over later, going to church late this afternoon and then home for the rest of the evening to enjoy each other. I’m excited to have all the cousins together. Alex thinks Sulli is a novelty. He likes to rub his head and try to grab his face. And they so badly want to play together but their little bodies don’t quite work in the way they want them to. The result is that they lay next to each other (Sulli is couple months younger than Alex) and Alex rolls over to Sulli, then they hold hands and “talk” to each other.
I hope that today is calm and quiet and a time where you can stop and reflect on how Jesus came into this world. Enjoy whatever the day holds.