“…Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35
After the children were put to bed, I had big plans for Christmas eve: SLEEP.
But alas ‘twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, the creatures were stirring…
There was my youngest with her periodic crying and then the Tylenol and the middle-of-the-night nebulizer treatment.
There was my oldest with her ceaseless humming and then a potty accident.
There was my tossing and turning in a bed meant for two, my midnight prayers for loved ones, my heart with a friend spending her last days in a hospice home.
I remember the nights as a child when my sisters and I were too excited to sleep – for the promise of sunrise and Christmas miracles downstairs.
This morning found me still tired, my loved ones still in pain, my husband still away, my daughter still autistic, my house and heart still a mess. Christmas.
“Today is baby Jesus’ birthday,” Hope informed me.
“Yes, today we celebrate His birth.” I said mechanically. We’ve been over this.
“But why???” she asked. She always asks why.
“Because… it’s His birthday.”
“Why what? Why do we celebrate? Because it’s His birthday.”
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Oh yes. It’s the message that was preached to me this week as I sat at my friend’s bedside, her body failing, but her soul well. That this has everything to do with Christmas.
And we knew Immanuel – God with us. God come near.
The Son of God come into my mess. The Light of the World come into my darkness. The majestic come into my mundane.
We celebrate that holy thing that has come and entered our world, and given us a chance to make room for Him.
We celebrate… for with the arrival of that holy thing in our hearts comes the promise: God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. (Rev. 21:4)
And for the first time in 34 Christmases, I know the great joy.