Christmas Eve Advent

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:4-7

He’s here. My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed! All these months of feeling him kick or hiccup inside and now he’s finally here! I’m so tired but I can’t close my eyes. I can’t stop watching him. Ten stubby toes, ten wrinkly fingers, long dark lashes. The softness of his breath as he sleeps, his little chest rising and falling beneath the cloth. The smell of him, sweet and warm. The feel of his tiny body nestled in the crook of my arm. He’s the most peaceful baby I’ve ever seen. Not a cry from him as he blinked into the light. Like someone waking from sleep. But I cried enough for both of us, relief and joy pouring down my face.

The shepherds came. They crept into the stable from the dark, one of them asking if they could see him. Joseph asked if it was all right and I said yes. They were so quiet and reverent, I knew they wouldn’t wake him. And so they laid their staffs by the door and gathered around us and shared their story. Skies full of angels, directions to swaddling clothes. They called him the Christ, the Savior and my heart leapt for joy. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation, for me as well as those humble shepherds. As they left the stable and went out into the night, I heard them begin to sing. Songs of praise, songs of deliverance, as though if they didn’t sing, the rocks would sing for them. If it weren’t for the sleeping child next to me, I would have joined them.

It really is all so amazing. Who ever thought that a woman could have a baby by herself? Who would have thought that a righteous man like Joseph would take a pregnant woman as his wife instead of throwing stones? Who would have thought that shepherds would be the first to hear about the birth of a king, and from an angel? Who would have thought that the Savior of our people, our deliverer, our Immanuel, would be here in my arms?
Joseph just shared that the angel told him what name to give my son, all those months ago. And it seems fitting. This baby, my baby, will be called Jesus.

May you have a lovely Christmas filled with peace, joy and hope!

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