I went to "Pack the House" at church tonight, and heard an incredible speaker, Sherry Wolpert, talk about preparing for Christmas. This season we call Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of little baby Jesus. She had a lovely power point set to some beautiful music, and images of Mary and baby Jesus. Some had Joseph in them too.
There was a fresh newborn Baby Jesus, some Jesus toddlers, and some little skinny baby Jesus's. My favorite were the chubby-cheeked rolly little Jesus babies. I picture him that way. (I had a lot of chubby little babies!)
One great image had Mary holding her little chubby son on her lap playing with him, and he's looking up at her with that kind of Love a baby only gives his Mama. I wondered for a minute if she ever made his little fat thighs "run down the street" like I love doing with all the babies in my life. I wonder if she ever moved his baby arms in silly dances, and pretend to swim with his arms and legs. I wonder if she sang him songs, and told him the bible stories of old. I wonder what he learned from her, and what he knew because he helped create the world. She must have nursed him and weaned him. She must have potty trained him, and fed him with a spoon. Picture that! Little Jesus, in a high chair his Daddy Joseph made for him, with food all over his little face, and his first tooth popping through his gums! The Savior of the world. God made man, losing his baby teeth at the age of 7. Full of divinity and full of humanity, reaching puberty, did the Word made Flesh have a hard time when his voice started to change? Did he feel as awkward as the rest of us do in his teenage years?
Did Mary ever wonder if he would meet a lovely girl and marry? Did she hope for grandkids? Did she really fully know what the angel meant by "full of Grace" before that grace held her together at her beloved son's crucifixion? Did her most tender mother's heart, broken and crushed by her son's death nearly explode with Joy upon hearing of his resurrection? Does yours?
Where are you in the story of Jesus' life? Do you visit him in Bethlehem with the other wise men? Do you follow his parents sneaking him to Egypt to preserve his life? Do you sit with him in the temple with the elders while Mom and Dad travel towards home, then have to come back for him? Or do you sit at the foot of the cross waiting...loving...hoping... Maybe you find yourself in an upper room with the doors locked in fear of anyone knowing you are this man's disciple. Or maybe you open your arms to those who would stone you, like Stephen, but you tell Jesus's story anyway, because you would rather die than waste your time doing something other than what you were made to do.
Go to the stable for a few minutes. Go back to where the Word became flesh, and entered the world as a little baby. Spend a little time with that chubby little bundle of hope. Be blessed by him.