In reflecting on the Nativity of Christ this year a few thoughts come to mind. I remember when both of my children were born the overwhelming feelings that came along with the brand new life snuggled up in my arms. There were the immense feelings of joy and wonder and awe, there was tiredness and relief, and there was love so fresh it almost hurt. It felt as though the world and all of time had stopped, or at least like it should have. I remember thinking about life going on outside the walls of the hospital, of people waking up and driving to work and going on with their lives as if nothing had changed. There was part of me that wanted to shout "Stop! A child has been born! Earth will be a different place because there is a new life on it!" I wanted to make everyone slow down and marvel with me that a baby had been born. The world, my world at least, had changed forever with the coming of my little ones, and in those first intense moments I wondered that others couldn't feel what I felt.
I know that those feelings weren't unique to me and I've been imagining how Mary may have felt as she lay upon the hay in the stable. Outside life went on as usual, the streets of Bethlehem overflowed with people, children played, and goods were bought and sold. But inside she held in her arms a tiny son, God's son. Like any Mama, she must have felt like stopping time for a moment, like crying out "Look! Look at my baby! Life will never be the same because He has been born." The Father looked on and felt the same way; He sent messengers to proclaim the Birth of the One whose life truly did change the course of history. And earth has never been the same.
I wonder now, how often God is speaking, even shouting at us, to slow down, to pay attention, to remember that Immanuel has come. In all the busyness of the Christmas season, my hope for both you and I is that we will stop and listen to His voice, that like the shepherds who saw the host of angels that night, we will make haste to worship the Savior and to proclaim His wonders to others.