This time of year always stirs up specific thoughts and memories. I often reminisce about past Christmases –the sights, the smells, and the time with family. Most of the time this trip down memory lane brings me great joy. Truly, there is something magical about Christmas.
Yet I often wonder about some other things. With the birth of Christ at the center of the holiday, it often stirs my thoughts and questions about that night, the night of His birth. I often wonder about Mary. What in the world must she have been thinking? How did she hold it all together? I mean, it is one thing to be told you are going to give birth to the Savior of the world, but then, right when the baby should come, you have to relocate from where you live and give birth in a strange and foreign environment! You’re accompanied by a man who has married you, but it is not the baby’s father. Your giving birth for the very first time so the birthing process would be long, painful, and scary at times. There are no modern day conveniences.
Can you imagine being in Mary’s shoes? She was definitely made of some tough stuff. I can only imagine the anticipation she felt. With each contraction, she knew something wonderful was about to happen. With every twist of her body, she believed God’s promise was about to be fulfilled. And when the moment finally came, when her newborn baby boy was laid in her arms for the first time, all the suffering, all the awkwardness, probably all the world just disappeared and in its place came unspeakable joy!
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. Luke 2:6-7 NLT
I hope the glory of His birth never wears off on us. Jesus did not just appeared on the scene that night in Bethlehem. Jesus had existed before time began. He had lived His entire existence in the presence of the Father in a perfect setting. He gave up His position, His comfort, and His power to come to Earth. And if that wasn’t enough, He took on the form of the most helpless being here –a baby. He would live a child’s life, waiting for His physical form to catch up with His spiritual being. Inside this child was the entire majesty of Heaven just waiting to be released at just the right time.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NLT
Today, let joy arise in your heart! The Savior has come. He has carried out the Lord’s wishes and your salvation is in hand. No matter what situation you find yourself in this Christmas, let the power of His coming recharge you. Soak in the fact that your God loves you so much that He reached down from Heaven to dismantle all the things that try to trip you up. He has walked here among us in the flesh and knows our struggles firsthand. He is willing to take your burdens and carry them.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
This Christmas, go back and get caught up in the story of His birth. Let the joy and excitement of it fill you. It was a night of great excitement.
Remember the angel who came to announce His birth to the shepherds that night and was then joined by all the heavenly hosts:
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14 NLT
Remember the excitement of the shepherds having seen the Christ child for themselves:
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, …The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. Luke 2:16-18, 20 NLT
And remember Mary, who in the wonder of it all could do little more than take it all in that night:
…but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. Luke 2:19 NLT
Let’s get happy people!!!
Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. Psalm 95:1-2 NLT
Father God, during this Christmas season, have mercy us on once again. Fill our depleted and worn out souls with the joy of the season. Help us refocus on the “Christ” in Christmas. Let the joy and the excitement of His birth never fade from our human hearts. Help us wade through the commercialism of today and fall at Your feet in reverence for the beautiful gift You sent us. May the wonder of it all overtake us. May we shout about Your great name. And may we bring others to You this Christmas!! Amen
Founder, Transforming Love Ministries
Creator, She Steps Forward Women’s Conference
For more of Elaine’s story, you can find Love Echoed Back: I Cried Out; He Answered on amazon.com.
Please note all scripture was taken from the NLT.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.