As I was getting my 12 month old ready for the day today, and wrestling him into his clothes he didn’t want to put on, I was thinking about Mary and her little baby, Jesus. I don’t usually think such theological thoughts while wrestling with my infant, but I started to wonder what Jesus was like as a baby. Was He the best baby ever, or was He like every other baby when it came time to change clothes — suddenly being overcome with superhuman strength? We know He was without sin, but there are basic baby things that aren’t necessarily sin, just the nature of being a person who can’t talk yet to let his needs be known.
Did He wake Mary up in the middle of the night with moans of pain when He was teething, like my guy is doing? Was Mary frustrated and overwhelmed sometimes due to the lack of sleep? Honestly, this path of thinking seemed a little irreverent during such a holy season, when we are surrounded with images of a happy baby in a manger. You never see a nativity scene with the baby’s mouth wide open, shrieking because He is hungry, wet, or being poked by the hay in the manger. And Mary always looks so relaxed in the artist renderings I’ve seen. She’s not looking at him with the quizzical look a mom uses when she’s trying to narrow down the possible causes of a baby’s cries.
Well, needless to say, none of us were there the night He was born, but we do have the Bible. Here is what it says about that night. It might sound a bit familiar, but read it with new eyes and the feeling that the people involved were real people, with hopes and fears, just like us. (Luke 2:16-20) (Biblegateway.com)
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
We may not know every little detail about Jesus as the only perfect baby, but God let us know the important things. He wrote it down in His Word. “Amazement”, “pondering”, “glorifying and praising God”. These are the things this little baby stirred up when He was born to this earth and it’s what He still stirs up today thousands of years later.
Let’s take our cue from the text to help us make this Christmas season one we can share with others. Like the shepherds, we can spread the word concerning what we have been told about Him and what we have seen and glorify and praise God, so that others can be amazed when they hear what we say. We can be like Mary and ponder these things, and think about them in the dailiness of the season.
This is one important birthday…let’s get the word out!