We all have heard the Christmas story:
The most important baby of all time--king of heaven and earth--comes to live among us as a servant. He has an ordinary family with a humble background. He is born in a lowly manger. He lives 33 years and saves the whole world.
But this year, I have looked at Christmas and the Christmas story so much differently than years past. This year, I have realized that it's all about a baby..."6 pound 7 ounce baby Jesus"...
and Christmas-time is one big baby shower. I admit, this might sound a little frivolous, so let me go into detail here.
---But first, let me add in a brief sidebar: yes, I know Christmas is a celebration of Jesus's birth, so it would be more appropriate to call it a birthday party. But birthdays only last one day, and let's face it, the Christmas season usually begins in stores around October and it feels like it goes on forever. Heck! Some people leave the lights up on the outside of the house and celebrate it all year long!
We anxiously wait on and celebrate the arrival of our babies for nine months (or more if you are one of the poor mothers whose pregnancy goes past the due date.) That's why I'm opting to call it a shower.---
As a mother, I am totally aware of what blessings my children are. They are the greatest part of my whole life. They have given me a new purpose and goal. They have totally refreshed my perspective of the world. They have brought me more joy than I ever knew I could have.
As a mother, I am also totally aware that every single baby is a miracle. I am still completely in awe of how so many babies are born perfectly, wonderfully healthy. They are built from nothing--the chance collision of two cells--and take only nine months to grow into a complete human being. That is facinating! Babies definitely deserve to be celebrated!!!
Jesus Christ did not receive near the grand reception He deserved.
When his mother announced she was pregnant, she was shunned.
I was not married when I was pregnant with my first child, either...but thank goodness I was not shunned. My pregnancy was celebrated. I had wonderful friends who threw me a party and showered my child with gifts. I had visitors and people who fed me while my father's child had to leave for training. I was in constant, complete, loving care.
When Jesus was ready to be born, his mother had no where to go.
This is something I sort of identify with. When I went into labor with Samantha, I apparently decided to have my baby on the same night as every other expecting mother in the tri-county area. There was a low-pressure storm system that had moved in, and we all started going off like oven-timers...the storm was moving in, and the buns were ready :) I was having contractions 3 minutes apart by the time I got into the room, but the nurses were ready to send me back home until my contractions were "closer together." There was no room for me at the inn!! Thankfully, my husband did what he does best. He took a poor, sweet nurse outside into the hallway, and I don't know what he said to her, but I do know that I didn't have to go anywhere after their "friendly chat."
Jesus was born in a manger, wrapped in rags, and laid in a bed of hay. He was visited by shepherds and three wise men.
Samantha was born in a hospital under the care of trained professionals, where she was wrapped in a warm blanket and laid in a plastic bed lined with soft cushion. She received tons of visitors in the hospital--family, friends, and family of friends.
Jesus was given three gifts--gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Samantha was given more gifts than I can even make a guess at, and her mother was too. And though Samantha didn't receive any gold, her mom made out with some silver.
It is hard for me to think that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords received so little, when my child was treated like royalty. And while Samantha is a princess to me, it seems unfitting that she should have had so much more.
So what are we to do about it? Throw Jesus the best baby shower we can every year to make up for it!
"Joy to the world, the Lord is come!" Here finally is the happieness and celebration Christ deserves. It's like watching Mary announce "I'm pregnant!" on FB and seeing her status get millions of "likes." :)
Christmas cards are invitations to the baby shower.
He was not welcome into the inn, but he makes his way into many of our homes via nativity sets, Bible stories, and Christmas carols.
Gift-giving is our way of showering Jesus with gifts...it all belongs to him anyway; he is just sharing it again with us.
When gathering with family or friends--whether it be at a home, or a church, or an office party--you are essentially gathering to celebrate the arrival of a baby. Think of it as "visitation hours" in the nursery.
So that's where I'm at right now. And I don't know if you're there with me, but I will tell you this...
It sure is hard to be "bah-humbug" when you realize that Christmas is just one big celebration honoring the arrival of the most blessed baby there ever was.
I wonder what Mary would have thought about a diaper cake--is that what the fruit cake is for? ;)