With it being the Christmas season and all, I see all of my friends posting lovely pictures of their decorations, and everyone is chatting about gift wrapping and doing the Christmas thing. So I want to take a moment to talk about “the reason for the season”. Now I know that a lot of unbelievers will throw it out there that Christians are ridiculous and silly because Christmas was never really a Christian holiday to begin with, so I just have to take a moment to give my view. It’s not the comment from unbelievers that bothers me; it’s the attitude behind it. You can almost hear the jeering in their voice, and I get the impression sometimes that it’s not just about making fun of Christians, but they seem to think that it gives them just another reason to say that God does not exist. Like, “Christians celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday, therefore they are idiots, therefore there is no God!”
Here is my view: Christmas is what you make of it. I get to celebrate my birthday every year, so celebrating Jesus’ birthday once a year is the least I can do to show my appreciation for all that He did. Jesus is God in the flesh; imagine the sacrifice He made just to come into this world! If you want to read more about that in particular, you can read another blog I wrote about Jesus here. If you consider yourself a Christian, I do hope that you will take the time this holiday season to recognize the great sacrifice Jesus made, not only on the cross, but just by being born in the first place.
With that said, I hope you have the tissues handy. Last year I happened to be taking my husband to work at about 5am in Hawaii, when I heard a poem being read on the radio. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard, and I will never forget it. So I did some digging to find it, and I know you will feel the same way! This is “In the Stable with Mary” by Beth Moore. It is in a book called “Jesus, the One and only”. This is an excerpt from the poem, not the whole thing. But still, it is so beautiful!
“A calf, only a few days old, awakened hungry and could not find its mother. The stir awakened the baby who also squirmed to find His mother. Scarcely before she could move her tender frame toward the manger, He began to wail! She scooped Him in her arms, her long hair draping His face, and she quietly slipped out of the gate. She gingerly sat down and leaned against the outside of the stable, propped the baby on her small lap, and taking a strip of linen and tying back her hair, she began to stare into His tiny face. She had not yet seen Him in the light. She had never seen the moon so bright. The night was nearly as light as the day. Only hours old, His chin quivered, not from the cold, but from the sudden exposure of birth. His eyes were shaped like almonds and were as black as the deepest well. She held Him tightly and quietly hummed a song she’d learned as a child. She had been so frightened of this moment, so sure she would not know what to do. She had never held an infant so small, and He was God, wrapped in soft, infant flesh, with bones so fragile she felt like He could break. She had pictured this moment so many times. What would the Son of the Spirit look like? She never expected Him to look so normal, so common. Must have been the part He inherited from His mother. She was so sure she’d feel terribly awkward. So afraid she’d drop Him, the Messiah, and God would be awfully sorry He had given Him to her! Instead, every fear, every doubt, every inadequacy was momentarily caught up in the indescribable rapture of a mother’s affection.”…..
“She looked back into His delicate face and watched Him closely as He seemed to stare deeply into the moonlit sky. And she began to talk. “Sweet baby boy. Do you know who Your Daddy is? Do you know Your name? Do you know why You’re here? What do You see when You look out there? Can you see the stars? Do You remember their names? Do you think I’ll do OK? Will you love me too? A tear dropped from her chin to His. He yawned and made such a funny expression she grinned, wiping her face on the yellowed rags she’d draped around Him. The fussing calf had obviously found its mother. Not a sound was coming from inside the stable. The earth stilled. The infant slept. She held the baby next to her face, and for just a moment, all the world was silent to the breath of God.”
You can find the whole version of the poem in the book preview here, or purchase the book online from Barnes and Noble (and probably Amazon, I have not checked).