For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;I have been struck this Christmas season with the wonder of God coming to us as a helpless baby boy. Being pregnant during this time of year, especially with a baby boy, has been especially sweet. It has made me contemplate the incarnation of Christ in a different way. I am in my third trimester now (!). I can feel this little guy moving around inside of me and the time of his arrival is quickly arriving.
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7a
I can't help but think about Mary, the ordinary, humble, teenage, virgin girl chosen to be the mother of the Lord. She graciously accepted the plan God had for her, even though it interrupted her plans and probably squashed some of her dreams. Her reputation would forever be in question regarding her faithfulness to her fiance Joseph. I pray for her humble acceptance of God's plans. I often cling tightly to my plans for the future and don't trust His ways over mine (even though I know that His ways are higher and better). Before becoming pregnant with our first baby, I struggled with the idea of letting go of my independence to embrace motherhood. I could sense God leading me towards motherhood but wasn't sure if it would make me happy. Shamefully, I sometimes still wonder if this whole motherhood thing is for me. It's hard to die to myself - to die to my plans, my independence, my vision of ministry...
Mary was in her third trimester when it came time for her and Joseph to make their way to Bethlehem to register for Caesar's census. I can't imagine how uncomfortable she was riding on a donkey, on bumpy roads, for many miles. I was uncomfortable driving down to Nashville for Christmas and my ride was way more luxurious than hers. And I will be making an even longer journey in a week from Pittsburgh to Tuscaloosa when we move. It won't be comfortable, but the same God who sustained her on the back of a donkey will sustain me on the road in our Honda.
And even though I can relate to Mary in these different ways, my son will be much different than hers. Her Baby was no ordinary child. He is God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14). He has always existed and He came to dwell with His people and to save them. And even though He is the king of Kings, He came in the humblest of ways, While my son will be born in a nice hospital, with relatives semi-nearby, and with the modern conveniences of life, God's Son was born in a stable, far from relatives, and wrapped in old rags. While my son will have a cozy crib, God's Son had a dirty feeding trough for his bed. Jesus came in way that no one would have ever expected and His life and death were just as mind blowing as His birth.
Jesus came with one purpose: to die for the sins of the world. Isaiah 9 says that He came as light to people who were walking in deep darkness (v.2). Jesus Christ has conquered that darkness by paying the penalty for our sins. The Son given to us at Christmas came to give eternal life to the world - including this little child within me. Because of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus we can know God. God gave His Son over to death so that we could become His sons and daughters. I have been praying more consistently for my son's salvation and future, that God would use him in great ways for His kingdom. I pray God opens the eyes and mind of our baby boy to see and understand this Jesus at an early age. And I pray that I continue to grow in my understanding of who He is and what He has done.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5