It’s been a while since I had a baby, but I will never forget the feeling of energy I experienced after giving birth to each of my children. I loved being pregnant, but after nine months of being bogged down by extra weight, lower energy, and being kicked by that growing little human, it felt so nice when I could finally take a deep breath. So many emotions accompany childbirth, but somewhere in the mix of my emotions, when that baby was out, I just felt more awake. This new little person who needed me for every little thing woke me up to the possibilities waiting for me, for all of us.
While marveling at the newness of life, the awe of God-become-baby, Mary and Joseph must have wondered what God’s plan would look like through the coming years. I imagine they were like me, awakened and alert to the possibilities that lay ahead and wondering how that little person, Jesus, would change their lives.
Psalm 40:3 says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”
Mary and Joseph had already trusted God with his extraordinary plan to bring his Son into the world. Likewise, each time we see God’s plans come to fruition in our lives, we have the opportunity to sing a hymn of praise. We have the opportunity to share the Lord’s faithfulness and allow many to see and fear him because of our story. The shepherds also sang and praised God that night, along with the angels. I would think they felt awakened to the possibilities of new life the next day, too.
Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Babies soften us, even those of us who do not have children. We know something will change in our hearts when that little person arrives. I marveled over each of my babies for the first three months. I love that time of newness and baby smell and snuggles. Some people say a mama will know when she is done having babies, but I don’t think I will ever feel really done. I love that newborn time so much, and I think I will miss it until the end of my time this side of heaven. Therefore, I am glad to celebrate Christmas every year, to be able to reflect on and be awakened again to the newness of heart and life that Christ brings with him. His birth was miraculous. Through him, I have the opportunity every single year to allow God to give me a new heart and a new spirit. I have the chance to remember that Christ became a baby so we could all experience newness of life.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old had gone, the new is here!”
The birth of Christ brought a shift for all, but definitely for his parents. They became a mama and papa. They had a new role to fill, and I am sure they didn’t take it lightly. Other people in the story felt that shift as well. The Magi followed the new star in the sky for weeks to find the baby King! But not everyone allowed the new creation to come, either in their hearts or in their daily lives. From the day of Jesus’ birth, there was a choice to put on a new heart or not.
We have the choice. Are you awake to the possibility of new life in Christ?
Carla Clemens enjoys a crazy, beautiful life with her military husband and four sons. A baby and toddler interrupt her homeschool days in the best ways, and she is always attempting to live with mindfulness of each moment. She hopes to look at the world and each person in it in light of our amazing Creator and therefore, to see each moment presented as an opportunity to love and serve him more. Carla relishes time to ponder God’s Word and have quiet moments with him and her coffee. She loves doing life with other mamas and encouraging them to simply be who God has made them to be.
Photograph © Michael Heuss, used with permission