24 December 2010

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Last year at this time I was with child.

Um, maybe that is an understatement. Let me re-phrase. Last year at this time I was BURSTING with child.

I was certain, earlier in the pregnancy, that my sweet daughter would be in my arms on Christmas day. I daydreamed many times about laying on the couch with my tiny newborn tucked in beside me on Christmas while the lights on the tree twinkled and general Christmas-y things happened around us while we just rested together.

But no.

Last Christmas my sweet N was NOT in my arms. She was still in my belly. For four more days.

Oh my.

And so when she came, wow... was I ready! And wow... did we rejoice!!!

You've heard me ramble before about how special it is how babies come to earth. It's so very special. Every time. Babies are miracles. Babies are precious.

And I'm sure it was no different with Jesus. Sure, he slept in a feeding trough. He wasn't 'at home' when his mother delivered him. The circumstances weren't ideal. People wondered. People misunderstood.

But I think about the joy that flooded my spirit when I have delivered my babies. Is there a better feeling? A better moment? It's like a baptism of joy. Instant. Full. Beautiful.

At least it was like that for me.

But I'm human.

And my babies are human.

So imagine the rejoicing when Mary delivered a baby. She delivered thee God-child! A miracle? Maybe the biggest one ever. A precious tiny helpless bundle? Yes, that too. I can sense the joy she felt with her child in her arms. If anyone was certain of this miracle... it was her!

And imagine how HEAVEN rejoiced when Mary delivered this child. This baby was the beginning of the victory being won for all eternity. This baby, this God-child coming to earth was the first step in redeeming all of creation to eternal life for those who believe on Jesus and what He did for us when he died on the cross. Heaven knew where this story was headed. Heaven knew the man this baby was going to grow up to be!

I think the excitement and celebration resounding out of heaven as this sweet babe lay in the manger was unlike anything else. Sometimes this story, this moment seems so distant. So vague. But tonight as I was reflecting on the anticipation I was feeling last year with a babe in my belly I realized that my human anticipation for my child was nothing compared to the anticipation and joy that was filling heaven that Christmas night over 2000 years ago.

Gloria in excelsis Deo. Glory to God in the highest! A Savior has been born to us! God has come to earth as a tiny babe to save our souls...

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.

Merry Christmas to all! May your day be full of the true love, true joy and true peace that is only available through knowing this tiny newborn King, Jesus.

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