Once Upon a Not So Ideal Christmas
It started early this morning when my recently turned two-year-old called me to get her out of her crib. When I picked her up, she made a strange sound. The next thing I knew I was covered in last night’s dinner.
My little Maya was so tired that after opening just a couple presents, she didn’t want to doanything but cuddle. For a child that normally is running nonstop from dawn to dusk this is usually a welcome development, but not under these circumstances. A couple hours later we settled in to watch a DVD and it happened again. I showered again and started more laundry.
The rest of the day I spent holding my little girl in my arms. I felt so helpless watching this little one zapped of all of her energy on Christmas Day.
When you have a sick child, you’re very focused. For me, on Christmas Day, it gave me a lot of time to think. I thought about the baby Jesus. The Bible is incredibly silent from the time that Jesus is dedicated as a baby in the temple to around the time he is 12 and gets separated from his parents in Jerusalem. Still, if you’ve been a parent you can probably imagine what it could have been like. I wonder if Jesus was a colicky baby. Were their nights when he kept Mary and Joseph up with his crying? Did Mary rock him to sleep and try to comfort him as he was teething? The Bible does tell us that he was human just like us. Even though he was God, he came to earth as a tiny, helpless baby. And, somehow with my sick baby in my arms this all became more real for me.
Baby Jesus didn’t just become grown-up Jesus in one day. He was a baby, a toddler, a tween and then a teen. If you think parenting your kids is tough, Mary and Joseph got to teach their son about the beginning of the world– the same world that he created. They had to teach him about the fall and the plan of redemption. The plan that he came to carry out!
This just past Christmas is one I probably won’t forget. While it probably won’t have the fondest of memories, I think I just might have a slightly better understanding of what Jesus gave up to be born a baby. And that’s my prayer for you in 2012. May the depth and breadth of your relationship with Jesus grow in ways it never has before. Happy New Year!