By Libbo Crosswhite
’Tis the Season
Our world has painted us an intricate, quite commercialized picture of the night Jesus was born, but I love the simplicity of the Christmas story in scripture in Luke 2:6-7, “While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.” I have to pause for a moment and giggle at the fact that the phrase, “the days were completed for her to give birth,” is as casual as if the timer went off on a casserole.
If we’re honest, I imagine that even if Jesus did come on his due date, the birth was anything but casual. Luke goes on to write, “And she gave birth to her firstborn son; wrapped Him in cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn.” Simple. No frills, just Jesus.
Christ’s birth is counter-cultural to the spectacle that our world makes Christmas. Remembering the birth of Jesus reminds us that our Christmas doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. Rather Jesus’ birth displays the exact opposite; a mother and her child wrapped in simplicity, placed in a wooden box intended for animals; yet fully and perfectly beautiful and drastically life changing for every human born after Him.
There is evident humility in how Christ entered the world just as there is evident humility in motherhood. Wiping bottoms, boogers, and tears only to wake up and do it all over again, day after day. Jesus being fully human means that Jesus entered the world as we all once did—fully reliant on a mother to sustain, care and love him during His time on earth.
Scripture tells us that after Mary gave birth to Jesus, people from all over were coming to see the newborn King. It was then that Mary began to understand the true importance of her motherhood journey.
Luke continues in verse 19 that, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them on her heart.” Mary tried to remember every moment of her precious Son’s new life as she began to fully grasp the magnitude of her child’s birth. Isn’t that all of us? Slowly taking snapshots of our little ones in our brains, collecting memories, trying to remember every smell (well, some of them), sight, and sound of the our children’s lives. Storing up in our hearts the life that we are watching grow right before our very own lives.
Mary had the great joy of seeing Jesus’ first steps, potty training the King of Kings, nourishing and caring for a baby boy that just so happened to be the Savior of the world. What an important reminder to all mothers this Christmas season. We may not be raising the Messiah, but we are raising the hands and feet of Jesus—may we never take that responsibility lightly. We have been called to make good, loving humans in a world that is so clearly full of brokenness.
I think about all of the mothers that have gone before me and have paved the pathway for my own motherhood journey. Mary’s story is a great example for me as a mother. She was so clearly terrified when the Angel of the Lord told her she was going to be a mom, but fully reliant on God’s sovereign will for her life.
I can also totally relate to having to figure out a back up plan after forgetting to plan hotel accommodations on a family trip. Simply put, Mary was like all of us—an inherently flawed woman trying her best to navigate her motherhood journey.
I am a proud granddaughter (in-law, but who’s counting) to the beautiful woman in the “Living My Call” column in this month’s issue. Mamaw, as I have known her since I was 14, is a pure example of a God-fearing woman who knew and understood her calling. A hardworking mother who kept Jesus at the center of family and her store. Her daughter, Jane, is the one I have to thank for raising my soul mate who leads our family to the cross daily. (And I can’t help but take a moment to really thank her for my family discount at the store that has created my extensive shoe collection.)
Generations of mothers that have gone before us are now faithful examples of what motherhood looks like. Full of sacrifice, love, and a deep calling to create the next generation of believers—the next generation of mothers. My own mother’s sacrifice and unconditional love has helped me on those hard days of being a mom.
Let us take a moment, when we find it, this Christmas season to pause and reflect on our own motherhood journey. Whether it’s winding down, just beginning, or waiting to begin, the journey is different for all of us. Let us remember that silent night in Bethlehem that started Mary’s motherhood journey—a simple night that changed human history for eternity.