Firstborns are special.
I say that not because I am a firstborn but because of how I felt when I held my first child.
I remember that nervous yet exhilarating feeling of having his tiny little body placed into my arms for the very first time. He was wrapped up tight in a blanket and I was undone. The depth of my love for him was so intense and so immediate; it took me by surprise. Suddenly, and almost without warning, I realized I would do anything for this child of mine. Not only had I given birth, but something had been birthed inside of me. A desire to love and protect this little life at any cost.
I imagine that Mary felt the same way. Although she didn’t have an adjustable bed and big fluffy pillows behind her as she drank in the first few hours of her son’s life, I can imagine she felt those same feelings of intense love and fierce devotion.
Parental love—and fear—is an authentic and tangible universal language.
I can’t help but wonder how Mary managed those fears as she watched her little boy mature into a young man. I wonder if she lost sleep worrying about him and his future. I wonder if she ever felt not enough at times, questioning whether she was equipped for the monumental task of motherhood. All of her time, energy and love poured out into this life that would ultimately lay itself down for us all.
The precious gift she had been given would eventually be a gift for all mankind. A gift of love, quite literally, as 1 John tells us that “God IS love.”
In our earthly understanding of love, one of our best representations is that between mother and child. It is bond so strong that it gives us a small glimpse into the immeasurable depth of love that God has for each of us. Paul tells us in Ephesians 3 that he prays that we will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is.
We serve a God who gives us small daily reminders of that love. From a child’s laugh to the warmth of a loved one’s hand, these are reflections of His love for us. As we gather this holiday season with family and friends may we sense, more deeply, the greatness of Christ’s love for us. May we catch another glimpse of the height and depth of His love and may it secure within us a sense of trust so we can walk in confidence of the love He has, not only for us, but also for the world.
A prayer: Father, we thank You today for the gift of Your Son. We thank You for the blessings You have given us in the form of our children. Father, continue to teach us more about Your love. Help us to walk in the love You have for us, and helps us give that same love to those around us. We acknowledge that our confidence comes from being secure in the immeasurable love You have for each of us.