On this final day of the Advent season, we are eager to celebrate the birth of Jesus tomorrow on Christmas Day. May His love be made new in your hearts and lives as you worship the newborn King.
The baby rested on her breast, dark hair still damp with birth fluids, his body curled as in the womb. She inspected each limb as best she could in the wavering lamp light, cupping his head in her palm to gaze into his face. He bleated like a little lamb at being held away from her. He would need to be washed and wrapped, but for now she just held him close. His breath came light and quick on her skin while his tiny mouth made sucking motions. She absorbed his warmth, the scent of him, knowing how brief these moments would be when he was just her newborn baby. He was meant for all mankind, but not yet.
Though centuries separate us, I feel a connection to Mary, Jesus’ mother, because I too, vividly recall the first moments with my newborn baby. The sweet, warm weight of her small body so recently birthed from mine sparked a new kind of fierce, primitive love I had not experienced before. I felt that this was what I was made for. But then, I did not know the destiny of my newborn as Mary did.
I wonder, did she look into her baby’s eyes and see God there? When his fingers curled tightly around hers, did she think of how he created the world? Did his infant cry echo the sound of heaven in her ears? Could she even begin to grasp the paradox of the Ancient of Days being manifest as the child in her arms?
The Lord God fashioned a miraculous plan to rescue His people, using a simple peasant girl and a newborn baby to bring it about. Mary’s gentle acquiescent faith made for a perfect nursery for the Son of the Most High.
But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. (Gal. 4:4 NIV)
After this baby boy grew up to be a man He used the picture of procreation, which He had conceived of and crafted before time began, to illustrate man’s need to be born again of the Spirit. “Men can only produce human life,” Jesus told Nicodemus, “but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven; so don’t be surprised at my statement that you must be born again!” (John 3:6, 7 TLB)
When a newborn draws its first breath, it is beginning life on this earth. When spiritual birth occurs, the spirit within us recognizes Jesus Christ as God in human flesh and invites His Spirit to give us new life, causing us to be “born again”. We are newborns, no matter what age we are when our spirits break forth from the womb of darkness into the light of Christ’s love and grace. He has made us “like newborn babies, craving pure spiritual milk so we will grow into a full experience of salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2 NLT)
The very way Jesus entered into time as a newborn baby is a symbol of how we may enter His kingdom. Often our spiritual birth is a painful, exhausting process, but what joy erupts when we are first held in our Father’s arms!
Hark! The herald angels sing.
Glory to the newborn King!”