My daughter likes to have me read the Bible to her before she goes to bed. We have two versions that we read to her: The Beginner’s Bible and The Jesus Storybook Bible (both by Zonderkidz). For some reason, the entire season of Advent, we hadn’t read from the latter of the two versions until the other night. I was laying in her bed, her head nestled on my lap, and read the story of the Nativity, as written in The Jesus Storybook Bible.
Y’all. I was weeping.
I will first say that I’ve looked at the Nativity story – specifically Mary and her blessed job – a little different since becoming a mother myself. It’s rocked my world the past few Christmases, thinking about carrying a child you know will change the world in the best and most terrifying of ways. I’ll share a few favorite moments, but I have to say that I love the annunciation story:
“‘Mary, you’re going to have a baby. A little boy. You will call him Jesus. He is God’s own Son. He’s the One! He’s the Rescuer!’
…Wait. God was sending a baby to rescue the world?
‘But it’s too wonderful!’ Mary said and felt her heart beating hard. ‘How can it be true?’
‘Is anything too wonderful for God?’ Gabriel asked.
So Mary trusted God more than what her eyes could see. And she believed. ‘I am God’s servant,’ she said. ‘Whatever God says, I will do.'”
I love the way they don’t leave out the nuance of Mary’s fear mingled with excitement, followed by complete and total trust. My two-year-old might not have picked it up, but that was where the tears began. And here’s where they really picked up: the story of the shepherds. You see, I had never given a thought to God as a daddy. A great, big, Holy Father, sure. But a giddy, brand new Daddy? It melted me.
“You see, God was like a new daddy – he couldn’t keep the good news to himself. He’d been waiting all these long years for this moment, and now he wanted to tell everyone.
So he pulled out all the stops. He’d sent an angel to tell Mary the good news. He’d put a special star in the sky to show where his boy was. And now he was going to send a big choir of angels to sing his happy song to the world: He’s come! Go and see him. My little Boy.”
My little Boy. Thinking about my own little boy and his excited his wonderful daddy was when he was born made me wonder how much more excited God was to see his tiny Son be born!
Wrapping up the story was a perfect summation, written in a way that all can understand:
“But this child was a new kind of king. Though he was the Prince of Heaven, he had become poor. Though he was the Mighty God, he had become a helpless baby. This King hadn’t come to be the boss. He had come to be a servant.”
The excitement and wonder of Jesus’ arrival at Christmas is still a glorious foreshadowing of the sacrifice and hope of Easter. A incredible story of the humble beginnings of a baby King, growing into an unparalleled story of miracles, prophecy and fulfillment, suffering, death, and resurrection all for the sinners who had turned from Him. Reading between the lines of a children’s story, I experienced a shift from the busyness and excitement to gratefulness and conviction. I belong to this baby King, and he is my reason for everything I do.