....and some more recycled advent (still on hope)....from a few years ago. Forgive the repeats.
Just a few years ago I gave birth to a son. I took a packed bag, received an epidural, made a mix cd, and I think the hospital even had cable…..although I never thought to turn it on. I had multiple doctors, nurses, pillows and morphine ( lots of morphine). All my friends and family showed up. A few friends even waited all night (literally!) behind closed doors for that first cry. Afterwards I received flowers, presents, 19 staples, ice chips and of course a beautiful little boy swaddled tightly in his hospital blanket.
Mary, was just a scared teenager out back in the barn. No epidural or even clean towels.
I love these humble beginnings.
This is the Christ child.
God could have orchestrated his appearance on Earth anyway He wanted. He could have been beamed down like an episode of Star Trek. He could have immediately sat on a throne. Or He could have at least reserved a room for him in the inn.
Instead he shows up where we least expect him.
In a dirty trough. Small and helpless with only his scared parents and some shepherds for an audience.
At Christmas we focus on that babe in a manger. Before the miracles, before the sermon on the mount, before the resurrection. As purely the hope and promise his appearance offers. This baby hasn’t conquered anything yet, and yet even the stars shine brighter and kings come bearing gifts!
So often, I forget to come and worship. Instead I treat my Jesus like Santa Claus and bring him my list. I ask for help, I ask for rest. I ask for healing. Sometimes I ask for other people, but mainly I just ask for myself. Either way, I am asking and expecting him to deliver. It seems that I am putting my hope in his answering my requests, not just that HE IS.
I want to take a little while to remember Christ as that tiny baby swaddled in a manger. Like I held my son in the hospital those first few days. Just as a pure and precious gift. I didn’t ask him to say please or pick up his toys. I just wanted to hold him close and memorize the moment.
It makes me wonder when the last time I just stared into the manger, not the cross, and pondered all these things in my heart.
Like Mary did.
"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. "
Luke 2: 16-19 NIV
(ok, grooveshark changed things up on me ....can't embed...here is the link http://listen.grooveshark.com/playlist/The_Not_Too_Corny_Playlist_final_/40420838
I'll try and figure it out later...)
....and for the music. I should still confess if you get into my car it won't be on the Christmas station although my kids are happy to bellow out some jingle bells for you....but I like these.