Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Here is a journal entry I wrote a few weeks ago...

Our Christmas season has begun. I think the most precious detail of my decorations is my nativity set. It is different from the others I've seen. The difference is Jesus-- where He is. Usually He's laying in a bed of straw in a manger, and everyone is in awe of Him, He's got a glow about His head and it's obvious that He's not fussy or ever hungry at all-- constantly regal though an infant-- He doesn't need anything! (He's Jesus, after all). He looks pretty self-sufficient, really.

In my nativity set, Jesus is a small, sweet, precious newborn, wrapped tightly in a big bundle for warmth, and is safe in the comfort of His mother's arms-- with His daddy close by, protecting and watching over them.

Christmas is such a tender time, now that I'm a mother. The experience of childbirth and child-rearing connects me to the women I read about in the Bible in a most basic way-- we follow the same God, know the same pain, and know the same precious overflow of the heart as we have held that tiny miracle close in the stillness of the night. Their tummy full, they warmly sleep in peace as we've listened to them breathe their quick breaths and make their little squeaks and sounds.

Jesus was not born glowing, huge, content. He was born out of gut-wrenching pain, in an abundance of blood and mess, in the dark corner of a stable meant for (and probably full of) animals. The God of the universe became flesh and made His dwelling among us-- He needed His daddy to protect and provide for Him, and He needed His mommy for nourishment physically, and emotionally. He needed her to clean Him when He was dirty and to calm Him when He was afraid. And, I know for certain He loved to be nestled warmly on her chest much more than being left alone in a manger to sleep by Himself. Praise to the God who became like us in His Son, even to the point of a helpless newborn, leaving Paradise to become completely dependent on others for all things-- how could I ever imagine that He doesn't care for me, or know exactly how I feel?

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