Hearing that word, seeing that word, saying that word- it sends chills down my spine, makes my mouth widen into a ridiculously large grin, causes my heart to burst with joy, forces me to break out into song, and gives me unexplainable peace.
It is my favorite time of year. My favorite day. One that I count down to all year long.
It is a day that cannot be replaced, cannot be replicated, and will never lose its power.
It is a day of love. Triumph. Gladness. Victory. Joy. Fulfillment. Peace. Awe. Beauty. Hope. Glory. Adoration. Wonder. Perfection.
It is a story that can be told time and time again without ever losing its power…
There were people everywhere. All in a hurry to register. The hustle and bustle was impossible to ignore. The multitude of voices blended to create a sound of chaos. The swift scampering of an endless number of feet attested to people’s needs to get there in time. And humanity’s inability to slow down reflected their ignorance of what the day would hold.
Mary and Joseph slowly carved their way through the crowd. The sun was shining brighter than ever causing small beads of sweat to drip down Mary’s face as she slowly breathed in and breathed out. The journey had been extensive, and her body was doing its best to compensate for the precious little life living inside of her. The bumpy mode of transportation only further added to the back pain and the aches from exhaustion.
She breathed in and out.
The sun began to set and the heat finally dissipated. The streets cleared as families went inside to gather around the dinner table. Doors closed signaling the end of another day. The sounds of voices were silenced, and the soft breeze could finally be heard. The world became dark aside from the illumination that came from the soft moonlight. Another day had ended, and another night had begun.
A night that would hold the power to change the world.
The pain got worse. The breathing became more rapid. The fear became real.
As Mary realized what was happening, panic overcame her. How bad would it hurt? Would the baby be okay? Would she be okay? Was there anyone around who could help them? What would happen when people saw her with a baby? What would she wrap the baby in? Where could they go? Was she really the right one for this?
Mary sat, quietly praying that Joseph would find somewhere they could go. The baby wasn’t going to wait much longer.
The seconds felt like minutes, and the minutes felt like hours. Where was he?
Finally, she heard his rushed footsteps and heavy breathing.
“Mary, my dear, how are you doing? I’m so sorry I took so long. All the inns are full and nobody would invite us into their home. I tried to explain that you were having a baby, but nobody seemed to care. I did find a place though! It isn’t exactly what I was looking for, but at least it is something. Come, I will show you.”
A stable? Sheep? Hay? Manure? The Son of God was to be born here?
These questions flooded Mary’s mind, but she didn’t have much time to pay heed to them. He was coming. Now. This stable would have to do.
The pain was unbearable.
The silence of the night was now filled with screams. Screams of agony. Of pain. Of fear.
And then for a moment there was silence.
And then it came. The sound of a baby’s cry. A cry filled with love. A cry filled with newness. A cry filled with hope. A cry filled with power.
The soft and sweet newborn cry echoed throughout the whole town.
And still no one seemed to care.
Joseph ripped off pieces of cloth from the clothes he had on. With a gentleness that only a father has, Joseph wrapped his Boy in swaddling cloths and ever so sweetly placed Him in Mary’s arms.
All at once Mary was overcome with feelings she had never felt before. A sense of love she had never known washed over her and filled her heart until it could hold no more. A feeling of awe beamed from deep down inside of her soul.
As she looked deep into her Son’s eyes, the tears began to fall. Never had she seen eyes so beautiful. Eyes so full of love. Eyes so full of power.
He fit perfectly in her arms.
He snuggled deeply into her chest.
10 perfect little toes. 10 perfect little fingers. Two beautiful eyes .One cute button nose. One perfectly shaped mouth.
It was Him.
With eyes so tender, Joseph sweetly looked into Mary’s eyes and said, “We shall name Him Jesus.”
And with those words, the world was forever changed.
The Son of God had been born and was here to save us.
It was good news.
It was great joy.
It was for ALL the people.
For the cheaters. For the liars. For the adulterers. For the murderers. For the addicted. For the suicidal. For the haters. For the prideful. For the hurting. For the broken. For the confused. For the lost. For the Democrats. For the Republicans. For the Buddhists. For the Muslims. For the Christians. For the atheists. For the gays. For the straights. For the killers. For the terrorists.
For YOUR enemies.
This is the beauty of Christmas. For one day out of the year we all have something in common. Whether or not it is acknowledged by everyone, on this day we are all offered a gift we do not deserve.
Not you and not me. None of us deserve the perfection that was put on Earth that day. None of us deserve the mercy and forgiveness that was to come later. None of us deserve to be loved the way we are.
But that didn’t stop God. The fact that we don’t deserve this gift didn’t stop Him from sending His Son, His one and only Son, down to our broken and sinful world to eventually die for us sinners. Sinners who turn away from Him daily. Sinners who are so far from perfection. Sinners who are so far from being like Him.
It didn’t stop Him.
Instead, His unending and perfect love took over and gifted us with His Son. With the chance to choose life over death. Love over hate. Goodness over sin.
For one day out of the year we are all reminded of our sinfulness and ugliness, but we celebrate the beauty and love that was delivered on this day. We celebrate our chance at eternal life and our desire to be loved and saved.
This is why Christmas sends chills down my spine, makes my mouth widen into a ridiculously large grin, causes my heart to burst with joy, forces me to break out into song, and gives me unexplainable peace.
This is why it is a day of love. Triumph. Gladness. Victory. Joy. Fulfillment. Peace. Awe. Beauty. Hope. Glory. Adoration. Wonder. Perfection.
This is why it is a day that cannot be replaced, cannot be replicated, and will never lose its power.
For on this day we are filled with so much awe and wonder at the gift of grace, love, and redemption bundled up in the most precious of ways. Ten toes and ten fingers, eyes full of love, and a heart beating for ALL His people has never been nor will ever be as powerful and precious as Him.
About the Author
Hi! My name is Morgan Colander. I am a senior at Lee University in Tennessee studying to be an elementary teacher. I am attempting to survive these college years as I learn to rely more on God and less on myself while being surrounded by new opportunities and decisions. College has presented itself with its difficulties- college budget, college dorms, college food, an endless list of things to do, and plenty of homesickness- but through it all, I have never been more dependent on God and realized how incapable I am to do life without Him. God, family, and friends are all I need to survive in life but some junior mints, a hike up a mountain, laughter, and some sarcasm definitely add some joy to the journey.