She was a teenager, just lately engaged, when she was told by an angel that she was going to give birth to the son of God.

She wasn’t just any random pick. She found favor with God. What would it be like, I wonder, to be entrusted by God, to raise His son. To be found favorable to take care of the savior of the world. I have been a nanny and I look after kids a lot. Just the simple fact that parents trust me with their children is pretty honoring. But to be given that task… by the Father of all… what an incredible, incredible honor. I’m only just starting to see that now. (Long car rides looking up at the stars can help you realize some stuff, for sure)

She was entrusted with a baby. She endured ridicule, social exposure and shame. She lived under the shadow of misunderstanding. But she wasn’t alone. Mary understood this would require relationship with God to accomplish. Also, God provided a husband, a protector, an earthly father for His son. Joseph went through that stuff with her. They both, together, were a team who found favor with God. Their character had been shaped before in the little things of their lives: they weren’t famous, neither were they infamous– they were entrusted with God’s vulnerability. A baby.

She dealt with pregnancy. The pains, the hurts, the weight. A real baby inside. Kicking and moving. Humanity and heavenly all in one womb. She gave birth. No hospital waiting rooms, no birth certificate signed by the doctor, no incisions or injections. Life. A baby, so utterly dependent on them. A baby, so in need of them. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. And what was it like to look on His face? What would we have seen? 

They must have seen the piercing beauty of love– love so strong that God would give up all comfort imaginable to come to us.

But like Mary, and Joseph, He saw us as worth it. He experienced the growth and pain all mingled in a human body. He knew of our suffering and sin warring within. He came to feel that, for us. He did it to restore the relationship, so that we would abide in Him, just like He came to abide with us. Because so much of love is feeling what the other person feels. Putting yourself in another person’s shoes. He loved us. Therefore He came to us. 

He lived with purpose, He died without regret. Because we as humanity had somehow melted God’s heart to the point of radical love. That kind of love is willing to sacrifice everything, even life. And He loves you. Personally, uniquely, and wonderfully. 

What would it be like, I wonder, to look upon His face when He gazed back at you with honor? Oh, I’ve experienced it before, in my spirit and soul. But to see Him physically face-to-face! He was a real baby that grew up to be a real man with real facial expressions. What a treasure it would have been to know Him like they did, before the Cross, before the execution…

Yet He didn’t just die! For love is as strong as death! And with great sacrifice there comes huge love! HE IS ALIVE! And not just alive in heaven. Alive in me, bringing relationship that I always wanted and desired. I was dirty and He made me clean. Beauty and love. And now? Today? He entrusts me with tasks beyond my level, which require relationship with Him to accomplish. Even if I am just a teenager. Oh, He loves me. 

What is His name?

For He saved us from our sins. 
Merry Christmas.