A newborn baby always invokes deep awe and great excitement from everyone. We all exclaim, “Just look at those little fingers and toes!” We listen to those cute sounds only a baby can make… what an adorable little nose, so perfect and beautiful. This week I was so blessed to be able to hold a newborn little girl of one of our lifelong family friends. As I held her, it seems like just yesterday my little girl was a tiny baby. (She’s about to be 27!)
Can you imagine the wonder that Mary and Joseph must have felt when they saw their first-born baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger? Picture the delightful joy they felt looking at his little fingers and toes, listening to those cute baby noises, and that tiny little nose. No doubt they recalled what the Angel Gabriel had told to them.
During this season we remember and celebrate what the Bible records in the Gospel of Luke 2:10. The angel appeared to the shepherds and said not to be afraid, “I bring you good news that will cause you great joy for all people. Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah, the Lord.”
As one of my favorite Christmas songs says, “Mary Did You Know?” I wonder if Mary really did know the fullness of that miracle on that day, that her son, who seems so tiny and powerless, was the one who created the stars shining that night, the donkey that carried her to Bethlehem, and the angels that would give the message to the shepherds of His birth. Mary and Joseph, I’m sure, looked in awe at one of the greatest mysteries of what we now call Christmas; this tiny helpless infant was actually the son of God, the maker of Heaven and Earth.
As history records, on that day in the City of David, Hope was born. The prophet Isaiah recorded and predicted that His name would be called “Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace,” and that he would bring hope to all people.
Can you imagine what the bloggers and the mainstream media would do with that story if it happened today? With all the things that we read about in the headlines, all the tragedy and chaos, I think it’s important to pause and remember what the season is all about. It’s about hope and a new beginning. Sure, it is easy for us to get caught up in the commercialization and the retail marketing of Merry Christmas; but today, I’m going to challenge all my friends and family that I have the honor of celebrating the season with, that we be ever mindful that the most profound mystery of this season is all about hope.
As Christians, we have a name for hope… Jesus. May we hold this hope close, with care, joy and tenderness, as we would in the awe of a new born baby, and appreciate the gifts of family, friends and all the blessings God has bestowed on us. Today is about the gift of God’s Love, Grace, Mercy, and Hope. But like the gifts under Christmas trees around the world today, it will not be yours unless you receive it, open it and use it. So my prayer is that we all accept every gift God has given each of us.
Merry Christmas from Wayne L. Mack