Merry Christmas! A line from a Christmas carol I heard a couple of years ago is running through my head, “a baby changes everything”.
A Christmas service is filled with oohs ahs, smiles and “how old?”
I go to bed at 7 not to make Santa come sooner but in hopes that I will get a four hour stretch of sleep.
And here it is Christmas morning. Hubby is in bed recovering from the multiple wake ups throughout the night.
The fireplace is glowing and a little baby is drinking milk as usual not yet aware that today is special.
It was hard to come home from the service yesterday, where my extrovert daughter was all smiles and joy. Her bubble popped and coos turned to screams when the crowds disappeared and mommy had to change her diaper and put her down to get tasks done.
This is Christmas Eve… I am supposed to feel happy and excited and nostalgic…
not tired and frustrated.
I recovered a little after reading my lovely Christmas love letter from hubby. And remembering my friend’s advice,
“When baby cries she is not intentionally giving you a hard time. She is having a hard time.”
A baby changes everything. It certainly did for Mary. It is so easy to put a halo on Jesus’ head and sing “Silent Night” and “Little Lord Jesus no crying he makes”…
I doubt it! If Jesus put on flesh, he put on tears and dirty diapers and spit up and gas.
I wonder if as Mary pondered things in her heart she asked, “how am I going to do this?”
I wonder if Jesus latched on to Mary’s breast right away or if they had to learn?
I wonder if Jesus slept through the night in his manger?
What gives me hope is not picturing a perfect Mary with a halo holding a tender and mild never crying Jesus.
What gives me hope and I think what the heart of the Christmas story is this:
Jesus came. Here. Into a stinky stable, creating a scandal for his, at the time of conception, unwed mother, firing up the jealousy and wrath of a lunatic King Herod. His first guests were not family and friends but Shepherds, outsiders.
Thank God Jesus didn’t come into a palace dressed in silk. He humbled himself and became poor that we may be rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Rich in love and mercy and thankfulness.
For the beautiful smiles and the hard times. The peaceful moments now and the cries later.
So may your Christmas be merry but not perfect. Throw off the picture book expectations and enjoy being human as we celebrate the birth of a human God.