Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas.....

"Joy to the world,
The Lord is come,
Let earth receive her King!"
I’ve often thought of the Christmas story from Mary and Joseph’s point of view, as a parent with the awesome responsibility of raising a child. I’ve thought about how they must have felt an even greater burden knowing that they had been entrusted with not just any child, but the Son of God. My thoughts have run along these lines because I am a parent and I have some insight into the enormity of the task of raising children. This is a common bond I have felt with Mary and Joseph.

I have not, however, given much thought to the Wise Men or Shepherds points of view until I became a grandparent. I had an experience, which I am sure must have been akin to what Wise Men and Shepherds must have felt when they first saw the new born baby Jesus.

Biblical prophecy pointed to the coming of a Messiah and His arrival was long awaited and anticipated. When I found out that I was going to be a grandparent an anticipation and excitement built as each day passed and the time of the long awaited baby would arrive. Scripture says that there is a time and a season for every purpose under the heavens and in both cases the long awaited time had arrived.

When the time finally came, the Shepherds received notice from an angel and the Wise Men followed a star, and we got a simple phone call. We each had the same reaction, to go and see the new born babe. My family and I rushed to the hospital and waited anxiously. At last my son stepped through the waiting room door and announced that our grandson had made his appearance. Mother and son were doing fine and we would all be allowed to see the baby soon, more waiting! Can you imagine the anticipation and wait the Shepherd’s had? I am sure that they had to herd their sheep along with them as they journeyed towards the stable where Jesus lay. What about the Wise Men who traveled from far off lands bearing gifts for the Christ child? Don’t you imagine that their pace seemed far too slow? I imagine that they could hardly stand the wait.

When we were finally allowed to enter the birthing room, both sets of grandparents, one set of great grandparents, and an aunt followed the father into the dim room. We entered in single file and stood a good three feet in a semi-circle around the foot of the bed and no one spoke a word. My son stood at his wife’s bedside and had a soft smile on his face as he looked at mother and child. We all stood in what had to have been an absolute holy hush gazing at the miracle before us in total silence, reverence, and awe.

Mother and child were propped up on pillows. The only light in the room came from a dim wall light behind them and encircled them with a soft glow. The tiny baby was swaddled in a blanket and snuggled in the crook of his mothers arm. His eyes were wide open and he moved his tiny head in our direction as we filed in and he seemed to look right at us. He seemed to look so wise and alert, being so fresh and new from God, perhaps he was. No one moved forward and silence blanketed the room as we drank in our fill of each little facial feature, the bright alert eyes, the little rose bud of a mouth, and the little button nose. We were finally able to see and with our own eyes what we had anticipated and imagined for all those months prior to his birth.

The Wise Men and Shepherds must have felt to the same way when they first beheld the baby Jesus. I can imagine Mary propped up in the straw with the Messiah swaddled and cradled in the crook of her arm, a soft glow of light from perhaps a candle or lantern illumining them as Joseph stood by their side smiling. The visitors file into the stable and an absolute holy hush falls upon them all as they gaze at the long awaited Savior. They too were finally able to see with their own eyes what prophecy had foretold, the birth of Jesus. I imagine a prayer formed in their hearts as their eyes took in the scene before them.

I remember thinking to myself, “So this is what you look like little one.” And a prayer of gratitude and thankfulness rose up in my heart. I am sure the manger visitors felt the same only on a more grand scale. My little grandson is a miracle indeed. Scripture says that he is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God but the baby that the Wise Men and Shepherds beheld was even more of a miracle. He was no ordinary baby, he was God’s one and only Son who chose to leave heaven and dwell among men. He chose to come so that we might live. His Christmas gift to us is eternal life.

After this experience, I can better see another point of view in the Christmas story. The gift of life is a precious gift indeed. It is not meant to be taken lightly or squandered away. It is meant to be enjoyed and lived fully without regret. It is meant to be lived with gratitude and thankfulness. It is meant to be lived as the Wise Men and Shepherd’s lived it, following after, seeking out, finding, and worshiping the King.

There is saying that says, “What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” I can think of no better way to spend the gift of life than to keep a fixed gaze upon Jesus, to keep a renewed sense of awe and wonder at what He has given for my good, and to tuck the message of the manger into my heart with thankfulness and gratitude at another life lesson that God has given me.
Merry Christmas and warmest wishes from me to you! May your heart be merry, your joy be full, and your day be blessed. I pray you will each experience afresh and anew the true meaning and miracle that is Christmas - celebrating Christ's birth.

God's Best Blessings to You and Your Family,

Miss Sandy


Lori said...

Merry Christmas Miss Sandy!!!

Pinkie Denise said...

Beautiful, Merry Christmas to you Miss Sandy!

Helen Read said...

A lovely telling of the most important story of all time! Thanks :)

tongue in cheek said...

May all the blessings of Christmas be yours!

Sand Flat Farm said...

What a perfectly wonderful marvelous beautiful Christmas present, Sandy! Congratulations! I know your little grandson is perfect in every way. May God bless you and all your family - Vickie

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