Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reflections on Christmas Eve

Hubby and me (and Lloyd) Christmas Eve, Michigan 2013 with Grammy and Papa Sanden
On Christmas Eve, my parents, Hubby and I attended the eleven o'clock church service at my childhood church, which is also the church where Hubby and I were married.  I love Christmas Eve services, but I have come to especially love a late night Christmas Eve service that ends after midnight, on Christmas morning.

My mom has told me for years how special it is to be pregnant at Christmas time, and this year, I got to experience this privilege for myself.

I already had a new appreciation for Mary, mother of Jesus, when we traveled 1200 miles in a minivan across America.  I the more and more uncomfortable I became, and the more and more my ankles swelled, I just kept saying to myself, "At least I'm not on a donkey.  At least I'm not on a donkey."

Momma (Grammy) and Daddy (Papa)
But as I sat in church on Christmas Eve, and listened to familiar lessons and carols, I was filled with a new appreciation for all that was said of this child before He was born.  Of the child growing in my womb, I am filled with wonder -- will it be a son or a daughter? What will he look like?  What will he be like?  What will he be passionate about?  What sort of work will he be called to do?  Whom will he marry?  Where will he go to school?... and many more questions.

As an expectant mother, I am filled with questions about my unborn child... but Mary, on the night her child was born, was greeted by strangers telling her of how angels announced her son's birth to them, and calling him a Savior.  This tiny baby, whose entire life lay before him was already called the Savior.

Kings from the East traveled hundreds of miles to bow down and worship Him -- Kings were worshiping her baby.  Again, this baby, whom she has housed and grown for 9 months, whose entire life was ahead of him had current Kings bowing before Him and bringing expensive gifts to his make-shift cradle.

Suddenly, as I listened to the Christmas story with new ears, the miracle of Jesus' birth wasn't just that a virgin conceived and brought forth a son... it was that the Lord shared Jesus' purpose with His children from the moment of His birth.  It was the realization that Jesus was born for the purpose of saving God's children -- which I knew -- but to know that this innocent baby's life was predestined before He ever breathed a single breath.

Its hard for me to explain, but it really was such a cool experience to listen to the Christmas story, with my own little baby kicking and squirming inside.

I truly believe that all of God's creatures have a spirit uniquely created and knit together at conception.  I have a friend who always takes her infant children with her to Bible studies, because she believes that their spirits can receive Truth and the Word, even though they are infants.  That being said, I believe that our little one already has a spirit that is striving to know and worship his creator.

That is why, I believe, our little one was kicking and squirming throughout our Christmas Eve service.  Our little one knew that we were listening to the story of our Savior, and, just like the rocks would cry out in worship, our baby couldn't help but kick and squirm in worship and praise of our Savior's birth.

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