"I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior- yes, the Messiah, the Lord- has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!" Luke 2:10-11
On Christmas day of 2001, I was in a hospital, deep in labor with my son. It was the year of 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan. The months leading up to giving birth were spent in contemplation, anticipation, and even some great anxiety at the state of the world...and bringing a life into it. The world seemed like a very dangerous and dark place that year.
On a similar day, over 2000 years ago, a very young mother, heavy with child, gave birth in a small barn... in a dangerous and dark time. A time when a King decreed that all baby boys must be killed. The events of this birth had been prohecied about for generations......a humble and lowly birth for such an anticipated arrival.
I remember feeling a deep kinship with Mary, mother of Jesus, in those months leading up to my son's birth. I waddled around the campus of the university I was attending, heavy with child, in the snow and ice....thinking about her having to ride a donkey in the winter for hundreds of miles, on the verge of giving birth to God incarnate. And then giving birth in a crude stable with no help or encouragement. What a way for the Son of God to come into this world. And then Mary "pondering all of these things in her heart".......
There was much need for this babe and the hope He brought 2000 years ago, just as there is today. And I felt it very keenly that year of my pregnancy. Such a magical and awesome event in history..... the Hope and Light of the world leaving His throne on high to come and dwell in our midst...among the darkness and strife. And because of Jesus' humble birth and, ultimately, death, I don't have to fear the darkness or the future of this world that I brought life into, because "Light came into the darkness and the darkness could not overcome it". And I am very grateful and will ponder these things in my heart for years to come......
"Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne."
(There is a beautiful song written from the perspective of Mary called "Breath of Heaven". You can listen to Sara Groves sing it Here. )