Do you remember when it became ok to invite your family into the birthing room with you? Really. I won’t dwell on this for those who couldn’t care less, but in the late 90’s or so it became trendy to let mom or sister or great aunt Lucy into the delivery room to watch these little ones be born. So, as I’ve been known to do, I joined the trend. My sister (and of course my husband!) was present for the birth of my first born. A son.
My sweet sister was 19. I’m not sure she saw anything she would deem miraculous. Or beautiful. Or precious. I don’t think she remembers things like my husband or I do. Poor thing.
Babies are weird. They’re squishy. They cry. They’re completely dependant on someone. They can’t even feed themselves which means their very existence. . . whether they live or die. . . depends on someone else.
Pregnancy is weird, too. Wonderful, honestly. Delightful. But weird. It comes with sickness and pain, fear and joy. So many emotions all compacted into one thing. One time. One moment. One event.
Same with childbirth. Weird. Wonderful. Scary. Painful. Messy.
Christmas brings all these things together. And there’s more. Jesus, who we celebrate at this time, was God. God who chose to be a baby. God who decided to arrive by way of a young girl, pregnant and tired, weary from travel. This God chose to be squishy and fussy and messy and utterly dependant on a woman. Just a regular girl from a regular town in a regular part of the world. His birth was inconvenient and without fanfare. There wasn’t even a place to lay him down. He had to lay in a hard, concrete food trough. But he came nonetheless.
Why? Why would Jesus become human? Why would he choose to be fed and have his diaper changed by a mere girl? Why would he decide to be born into a family of little means with siblings who didn’t even recognize who he was until after he died? I know why. Because of me. Because of you. Because of God and man’s once perfect relationship that had become broken.
God designed a way for this broken relationship to be repaired. Someone had to sacrifice. Someone had to pay the price. And God decided to put on flesh and be born of a woman and be loved and pinched and tickled and hated and mistreated and killed. . . for me.
I know as a Christian I should lean heavy to being an Easter person. He came so that He could die. He died so that I can live. I live freely because he paid my price. But I’m very much a Christmas person, too. I know enough of earthly heartache to be amazed that God, through Jesus, took on flesh. He chose to be squishy and dependant. He came knowing that even as a tiny guy he would be wanted dead and his family would have to flee their home and become refugees. He knew that he would experience pain and heartache and death. He would have family members in disagreement and friends betray Him. We try so hard to avoid pain, yet Jesus chose to walk right into it. To live it, carry it, sit in it.
And so this Christmas I relish in the fact that Jesus loved me enough to take on human likeness. He loved me enough to come to earth, even if it was just for a time. He was born so that I may live. And I am so grateful this holiday season. I am grateful to the God who became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus. Immanuel. God with us. God in us. The light of the world.
May you feel His love and live in His light this Christmas and always.