Friday, December 21, 2012

The Merry Christmas Infant

I remember that first Christmas season as a mom... three years ago. Erika came to us just before Thanksgiving, which means she was so very tiny on baby's first Christmas.

 I was struck by her complete dependence upon others. She was so fragile. So needy. So completely helpless.
And I read, "He was made in the likeness of men" (Phil. 2:7). Jesus was like this? Dependent, fragile, needy, helpless? God became a baby? Emmanuel. God with us. The infant God!
Humility in its purest form.
And not only did God become a newborn, but this newborn was born to die—a newborn sacrifice.
I heard a sermon (by Alastair Begg) last week called "Comfort and Joy." He told a story of an ornament he received as a gift. It was a nail with a ribbon tied to the top. He said simply about this powerful reminder, "without the nails, there would be no ribbons to deck our halls."
MacArthur shares this meditation which I've carried with me this Christmas season (forgive me if you've already heard this from my lips):
Here's a side to the Christmas story that isn't often told: those soft little hands, fashioned by the Holy Spirit in Mary's womb, were made so that nails might be driven through them. Those baby feet, pink and unable to walk, would one day walk up a dusty hill to be nailed to a cross. That sweet infant's head with sparkling eyes and eager mouth was formed so that someday men might force a crown of thorns onto it. That tender body, warm and soft, wrapped in swaddling clothes, would one day be ripped open by a spear.
Jesus was born to die.
Don't think I'm trying to put a damper on your Christmas spirit. Far from itfor Jesus' death, though devised and carried out by men with evil intentions, was in no sense a tragedy. In fact, it represents the greatest victory over evil anyone has ever accomplished. (Truth for Today, December25)
As a mom, Mary seems to have been shielded from the details of what was to come for her Son. At least at first. But Simeon told her (when Jesus was an infant) that a sword would pierce her own soul when the Messiah did what He came to do (Luke 2:34-35). I wonder what she thought when she heard that?
And now because He came to die, I do not fear death. There is no punishment waiting for me. He was the ransom, the payment, the sacrifice. Once and for all.
And THAT is why we can truly say, "Merry Christmas."

(Photography by who else? Emily Steffen)

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written. As always, thank you for sharing.