Christmas and Babies, It’s About Waiting for a Miracle

My annual Christmas post! A day late! Which kind of makes sense, because this year what I am interested in is “waiting”.

There are a few yard Nativity scenes around me where baby Jesus is missing. Have you seen this? Plastic Joseph and Mary go outside at the start of December and just kneel there in the cold all month looking down at the empty space between them. And finally, on Christmas, a baby appears. It’s disturbing, I don’t like, it makes me sad. But also, maybe, that’s part of the meaning of Christmas.

Thieves steal life-sized baby Jesus from Bozeman Nativity scene | Crime and  Courts | bozemandailychronicle.com

The story that has lasted through the years starts not with Jesus, but with Mary. And with her cousin Elizabeth. Mary was a young girl, really too young to be a mother, not even married yet. But she became pregnant and suddenly a baby was on the way whether she was ready or not. And Elizabeth was an older woman, past childbearing age, without hope of a baby, and suddenly she became pregnant as well. These two women who did not plan for a child or expect one, found themselves waiting for one to arrive, together.

Unexpected blessings. You never thought they would happen to you, you didn’t plan for them, and suddenly here they are and they are all you want in the world. And you are kneeling there in the cold, waiting for this thing to appear that you never thought you would have, never wanted, and yet desperately want.

A few years back a minister at my church preached a Christmas sermon on the topic of “Jesus, a child of rape”. Which is probably true. I am not Christian, in that I do not believe that Jesus was the magical son of God. But I am Christian in that I believe EVERY baby is the magical son of God. EVERY child. Including children who arrive in this world in a messy sort of a way.

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I am still pro-Choice, absolutely. But Mary CHOSE to keep Jesus. She wanted him. And while Joseph could have rejected her, instead he accepted her and Jesus and accepted that this baby was a miracle and a blessing, not a curse. A choice many many couples have made over the years. For example, Anupam Kher is the father of Sikander Kher. Biologically, Sikander’s father was Kirron’s first bad husband, but in an everyday miracle, Kirron and Anupam and Sikander formed the real family.

Mary was a teenage girl who, without wanting it, found herself pregnant. Joseph was her fiance who struggled but stood by her and by the time their baby was born, believed it to be truly his son and his child, no matter how it came to him. Christmas is about this young couple traveling and struggling, fighting against the odds once again, giving birth in terrible circumstances, and yet that birth was a miracle. As all births are miracles.

All births are miracles, but not only births are miracles. It’s a miracle that bread rises, it’s a miracle that people fall in love, it’s a miracle that all the lights change to green just when I hit the intersection. Christmas is a reminder of that. Just when you least expect, just when you don’t even want it, a miracle can happen.

Miracles are messy, miracles can’t be controlled, miracles may take a long time coming. But they do come, eventually they do come.

9 thoughts on “Christmas and Babies, It’s About Waiting for a Miracle

    • So glad you liked it! And I hope Baby’s First Christmas was wonderful, with as little tears as humanly possible.

      On Sun, Dec 26, 2021 at 12:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. They are! I had to explain what a miracle is to my youngest lately, at the same time that the skeptical pre-teen listened in. It’s magic, which is stilleasy for the 8-year-old to believe, but it’s the hard won wonder of every day life, which I’m trying to help the 11-year-old see and understand.

    Kind of relatedly, we just watched Encanto, now that’s it’s streaming in Disney+, and it ends up in a similar place. Plus it’s beautiful and hopeful and the music is fantastic. If you need something uplifting to watch, highly recommend.

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    • The thing with kids is, it doesn’t stop being a miracle! They go from these blobs to 11 year olds and every step of the way is unbelievable, and yet it happens. Like, your 11 year old used to be a little lump that couldn’t do anything for himself, and now he is walking and talking and everything.

      On Sun, Dec 26, 2021 at 4:50 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. After our Christmas Eve Pagent, my father gave a sermon – based of a child’s telling him (MY CHILD – can you guess which one?) that the Christmas Story was a myth. And his sermon was about all the beautiful things within the myth, and about how powerful myths are.

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  3. I don’t think the missing Jesus is sad. My parents’ nativity set consists of colorful wooden figures that look more like toys, including a feisty little sheep dog, a squirrel and a camel for the wise men. So of course we would always play with them, make the camel the star of the show and things like that. And we would always keep the characters moving day by day. First Mary and Joseph on their way, then they have the baby, then the wise men keep coming closer until January 6th, the holiday of the three kings.

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    • I always intended to keep the characters moving, and somehow I am never organized enough to do it. There is a massive life size nativity scene on the Loyola University campus in Chicago, and they keep their wise men moving. It’s fun, they move about 3 feet every night, so at first you think you are imagining it, and then you realize they are magically on the move. Although it always makes me feel bad for the poor groundskeeper who has to move 3 life size wise men on camels 3 feet every night for a month.

      On Tue, Dec 28, 2021 at 6:13 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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