Christmas is the season we commemorate the birth of a baby.
For nearly 20 centuries, we have commemorated Christ’s birth at this time.
We Pause in the hustle and bustle of our lives to wonder at the Incarnation—which is a fancy word meaning: the Almighty God, Maker of the Heaven and the Earth, chose to clothe Himself in human flesh.
God became man.
Wow! No other religion has anything like it—Muslims cannot believe Jesus was God because He died. Whoever heard of God dying? No King has ever chosen to die for His people.
From an early age, perhaps at 12 when He stayed behind in His Father’s House, studying Torah with the scholars in Jerusalem, He knew His mission was to die. He was born to die.
I wonder when He knew. How much did Mary tell Him—and when—about her angelic visitation?
How much did Mary herself know and understand? Did she fear Simeon’s prophecy that a sword would pierce her soul as well?
Protestants and Catholics alike revere Mary’s faith.
She was a Young Girl who said to the angel Gabriel: be it unto me according to thy word.
She was very young.
According to Jewish law of that day, she could have been stoned for having a baby out of wedlock.
Maybe that is why she fled to her Cousin Elizabeth’s house. Had she heard that an angel had also visited her cousin’s husband? Gabriel told her Elizabeth was with child. How comforting it must have been for that girl to hear Elizabeth, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declare that the forerunner of Messiah, John the Baptist in her womb, had leapt at the presence of Messiah, and to hear Elizabeth declare her “the mother of my Lord.”
What God and Mary did in this remarkable partnership between God and a woman:
Mary returned home after three months, probably learning about the Scriptures concerning the messiah from the old priest Zechariah, John’s father. Then the angel came to Joseph and convinced him that the Child was the miracle babe to be born of a virgin prophesied so long ago in Isaiah. Joseph, too, stepped out in faith to welcome and protect This Miraculous Child.
Mary’s body became the Sanctuary of God, the place where the Christ Child was nurtured and grew. Her womb was a sanctuary for the unique One and Only Child given to the world so this human race would live and not die, and we would be made acceptable to God.
In choosing to invade the planet through a woman’s womb, God demonstrated the sanctity of motherhood.
Like Mary, each one of you has chosen to be a sanctuary for a child—a unique, one of a kind, never to be exactly reproduced individual.
Your child, like every son of Adam, was born a sinner—I always say if you don’t believe in Original Sin, you have never lived with a baby. I want it Now, I am hungry Now. I am afraid Now, comfort Me Now. The world revolves around Me. No creature is so utterly selfish, so completely self-absorbed as a newborn. It is up to us to teach them.
Each child born into this world has the potential to become filled with the Spirit of the Most High God when by faith they welcome and receive into their hearts the Bethlehem Babe, the Crucified, Resurrected, and eternal Christ.
Wow! That sanctifies motherhood doesn’t it? Welcome to this holy calling. Our children can become Christ’s arms extended in the earth.
So I thank each one of you, for you and only you, with the combination of your husband’s genes, could have given to the world—to us—this gift, this unique son or daughter. And I exhort you to think soberly about your responsibility to introduce them to God and to help them grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord.
If anyone here is not sure that the Babe Who is the Crucified, Dead, Buried, and Risen Christ resides in her heart today, don’t put that off—you have vessels of the Living God to train up, and you will need the grace and power of God to help you do that.
Father God, I commit these moms to You today. Help them to appreciate their calling to motherhood. Bless them for choosing to be the sanctuaries of new life. May they know in the depths of their souls the honor of motherhood, the sacredness of their calling, and may they relay totally on you as they seek to fulfill their roles as mothers of Your children.
In Jesus’ Name.
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