Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Reflections

The Christmas tree is up, the house has been decorated, and Christmas music has been playing. I love this time of year! This morning as I was getting ready, I popped in the CD The Nativity Story-Sacred Songs. One particular song, "Labor of Love," written by Andrew Peterson, really gripped my heart and brought on an unexpected flow of tears. The lyrics are powerful:
It was not a silent night. There was blood on the ground.
You could hear a woman cry in the alleyway that night on the streets of David's town.
And the stable was not clean, and the cobblestones were cold.
Little Mary full of grace with the tears upon her face and no mother's hand to hold.
It was a labor of pain; it was a cold sky above. But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart, it was a labor of love.
Noble Joseph by her side, calloused hands and weary eyes;
There were no midwives to be found on the streets of David's town in the middle of the night.
So he held her and he prayed, shafts of moonlight on his face,
But the baby in her womb, He was the Maker of the moon.
He was the Author of the faith that could make the mountains move.
It was a labor of pain; it was a cold sky above. But for the girl on the ground in the dark,
With every beat of her beautiful heart, it was a labor of love.
It was not a silent night on the streets of David's town.

As I thought of Jesus' birth, my mind went to my own son's arrival, and the trauma surrounding that time. Though there were major complications, every resource was in place to provide him with the best possible care and to help ensure his survival. I am very thankful for all of those things. However, I was overwhelmed at the thought of my Savior being born in a cold and filthy setting, received by two exceptional young people who chose to cling to their trust in God in the midst of difficult and perplexing circumstances.
I thought of my own precious baby in my womb, so small and delicate, completely dependent on me for life by God's design. I wept as I considered Almighty God taking the form of an embryo, growing and developing over the months in Mary's womb. She felt His kicks and somersaults, and watched her body expand as life grew inside of her. The very One Who has knit each of us together in our mothers' wombs was being knit together in the womb of a peasant girl!
I thought of the cherished time that I nursed Benjamin and my anticipation of doing the same for Joelle. My heart was moved as I considered baby Jesus receiving love and nourishment from His mother's breast, His first experiences being held and comforted in her arms. The tears continued to flow as I realized even more the sacredness of motherhood, the privilege of nurturing life, and the high value this calling has in God's eyes.
I am so grateful to my Lord and Savior, Who willingly chose such a low place of humility and vulnerability that I may be redeemed. My prayer is to have a heart like Mary's, "Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said..." (Luke 1:38).