Friday, December 6, 2013

A Baby's Birth, A Savior's Peace

It was nearly 2 a.m. on a crisp fall morning. The lights in the hospital room were dimmed to a comforting glow and a peaceful stillness enveloped us like a cozy blanket. Not a sound filled the room but the sweet squeaking of our new born baby girl, wrapped tight in blankets and snuggled into my arms. My husband stood close, guarding his new prize, and wiping tears from his eyes as he gazed down at a tiny little form already winning his heart. I remember the overwhelming peace in our room that morning, a comfort and quiet so calming and sure. It was an atmosphere I could bask in forever.

Nothing comes close to the intimacy of a baby's birth and I often wonder what the birth of Jesus was like. I have to believe that the same intimacy and peace that my husband and I experienced also enveloped the stable after His birth. Can you imagine the awe that must have overcome His parents? What an amazing experience to be ordained with the task of birthing and raising God's Son!

As the Christmas holiday approaches, so many of us get swept away in the excitement of the season. There are decorations to put up, parties to plan, presents to buy. So much to do before the one special day! There is an excitement and happiness in the air that is almost palpable.

But what about the true reason for the season? What about the birth of Jesus? How do we connect with that day? Especially when all the stories and pictures depict a time so long almost feels like a fairy tale. But it happened. All the anticipation and anxiety of a baby's impending birth. The pain, the fear, the struggle. It all happened. But so did the beauty.

For those of you who have had children, you can relate to the amazing emotions that come over you when the labor is finished and your baby is in your arms. You feel love, fear, responsibility, intimacy, protection...the list goes on. But there is always that special moment after birth where the parents are given time to bond with their baby. To feel their little one skin to skin. To gaze into their little face. To feel their tiny hands and hear their helpless cry. This time contains the most breathtaking peace and intimacy.

Picture the stable so long ago. Historians believe it was a cave, chilly and dark. Animals milled about, their sounds echoing in the night. Perhaps the city outside was still busy with people going to and fro for the census. No one knew their Savior had just been born in the crudeness of a stable.

But despite the hectic city, the noisy animals, the chilly stable, there would have been a peace surrounding Mary and Joseph. After the pain of labor was over, after the visitors had left, Mary and Joseph would have been left alone with baby Jesus in the same way so many parents through history have been. All the sounds of the city and the animals would have disappeared. They would be enamored with their new baby, in awe of the breathtaking beauty of His birth and His purpose. They would swaddle and hold Him, gaze into His tiny face and hear His helpless cry. A quiet peace would have enveloped them. The only thing they would see were His tiny features. The only sounds they would hear were the squeaks and suckles of their brand new baby boy. In those moments He would have become their world.

The quiet calm after birth is amazing. It is a beauty words cannot describe. The reason for the Christmas season is the celebration of Jesus' birth. Wouldn't it be amazing if at Christmas, we experienced the same peace and quiet calm following the birth of a baby? Instead of the hustle and bustle, the stress and the buying. Instead of pressure to outshine others, the struggle to afford the best presents, what if we instead, enjoyed a peace and sureness. If we instead, remembered that this special day marks our Saviors birth and all the beauty surrounding a new life.

A baby's birth does not represent buying, stress, competition or showmanship. A baby's birth is supposed to represent the beauty of life, the intimacy in creation, the quiet calm that is awe inspiring. Shouldn't our Savior's birth represent the same things? His birth should remind us of peace, and our hope in life.

As Christmas gets nearer, I pray we are all able to stop for a moment and bask in the same peaceful, intimate, and calming atmosphere that accompanies the time after a baby's birth. I pray we can remember the purpose of the season, to take to heart the many facets of what Jesus' birth really means, what it would have been like, and how we should celebrate it today. The beauty of Christmas is not just the lights and the snow but the intimacy and peace of a baby's birth...our Savior's birth.

Merry Christmas to you and your family. May you feel peace and comfort in a new way this season.

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