Every year since I began writing this column, I have re-printed this piece. This was originally run in December of 2012. I hope you enjoy it again this year.
“Eight pounds, one ounce. 19” long. 7:53pm. Born in the manger behind the Inn. Mary and Joseph joyfully welcome baby Jesus into their lives. Please join us in celebrating the newborn babe.”
Being a mom, I have always wondered about those birth statistics of the Christ child. Was He an easy baby? Did He eat well? Did He sleep through the night from day one or was He up during the night until well into His toddler years? Just what would the birth announcement say if that had been customary in His day? I suspect it would’ve been a hard one to write. How exactly do you word a card proclaiming that GOD is in the cradle in the bedroom? Can you tell the Son of God that He has to “cry it out”? Is it even feasible to try and feed the Prince of Peace on a schedule? How did He react to His first tooth? Did He potty train early?
There are so many questions I’d love to ask Mary when I meet her someday! Surely raising the One who would bear the sins of the world on the cross was a challenge ….or was it? With Christmastime arriving soon, I wonder how Joseph and Mary celebrated Jesus’s birthday each year? Did they put up a tree and drape it with lights and tinsel? Did they have a guy dress up in a red suit and bring gifts every year? Did they shower Jesus with gifts at all? Did they eat turkey, ham, potatoes and pie? How does Jesus feel when He watches us do this? Whose birthday are we celebrating anyway?
Why do we feel the need to write a different birth announcement every year? What if the story in the gospels read something more like this: “Come and celebrate the birth of Jesus with 15 gifts per child. Watch preschoolers throw tantrums in the line at the mall while waiting to see a fat guy in a red suit. Endure lines with a dozen shoppers waiting impatiently, trampling mobs seeking the very last Hokey Pokey Elmo, Hatchimal, Fingerling or Battlebot. Binge eat turkey, potatoes, ham, pumpkin pie and assemble half a dozen toys at 10:30pm on Christmas Eve so that Junior will be pleased on Christmas morning. Oh and by the way, put a little nativity scene in the corner of the living room if you have time.”
Whose birthday is this? This year, let’s try and imagine the birth of the man who would shed His blood for us. Let’s feel the labor pains of a teenager giving birth in a barn surrounded by cattle and chickens. Let’s ponder the birth weight and length of our Savior. Let’s consider the weight of raising GOD and let’s celebrate in a way that honors Him. Make sure He is the guest of honor at your birthday celebration this year.