Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jesus

Historians tell us that Jesus was likely born in the Spring--March or April. He came to earth as a fulfillment of prophecy: For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." What a lengthy and lofty name for a baby!

When our first baby was expected, we tossed around names that reflected our family, our deep belief that our children were gifts from God, and a name that would be compatible with a nice Scottish surname. At about my sixth month of pregnancy we visited our hometowns and met with a group who prayed for me and prophesied that this baby would be God's anointed child. We knew immediately that this was a girl (no sonograms in 1975 unless extreme dangerous circumstances warranted the order) and her name would be the English/Scottish equivalent of House of the Anointed One.

Mary was told by the angel to name her child "Jesus", because He would save His people. "Saviour" is a lofty and mighty name for a tiny baby. But, just as I saw the future of my babies and named them more for their future than for their baby years, Mary was obedient to the Word of God and to the ancient prophecies.

Jesus. What a lovely name. As I rocked my firstborn child I often whispered and sang His name to her, as I did to my three daughters who were born after her. My first Christmas as a new Mommy, my darling, beautiful, first born child had an ear infection, which broke my heart and made me cry more than she did. I would rock her and sing to her for hours on end. One afternoon sitting in the nursery rocking, crying and singing, the Holy Spirit whispered to me. "This is how I humbled myself. This is how difficult it is to be a baby. This is how I became dependent on a mother of my own. I showed you how much I love you just by becoming a baby." Imagine! The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Saviour, the Counselor of all mankind gave up His right to communicate, gave up His majesty and birthright as God's Son to become dependent on one like me--a woman.

Every Christmas since then the scriptures and songs have had new and deeper meaning for me. "What can I give Him? Give Him my heart." "O come let us adore Him." "O come, O come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel." "Hark, the herald angels sing glory to the newborn King." "Mary had a baby, yes Lord. What did she name him? Named him Jesus. Laid him in a manger." "Some children see him lily white the baby Jesus born this night. Some children see him lily white with tresses long and fair. Oh lay aside each earthly thing and with thy heart as offering, come worship now the infant king, 'tis love that's born tonight." "Mary did you know that when you kissed your little baby, you kissed the face of God?"

Indeed, "to worship" has many meanings, but one of them is "to kiss". Mary was the first to worship Jesus, as she kissed her little baby. As I thought about our two precious grandchildren who were far away today, and as I kissed the two who were with us, I thought "Happy Birthday, Jesus." May You feel kissed today by all who worship You.


Becky at "Cheese My Head" said...

Love you, Mom. This was a special post. I loved reading about your experiences as a new mom and naming C. Very special.

RowdyGirls said...

I don't know that I've ever heard the specifics of that story before. Loved reading about it. Thank you. Love you.