In a devotional for Christian Standard Magazine, Paul Williams writes about the time he was on a particularly turbulent flight. It was so turbulent a number of passengers began to seize their armrests or the seats in front of them, just so they could feel a modicum of stability. Then Williams noticed a mother on the plane who, when it got bumpy, sought to comfort her infant child. She hugged the baby closed to her, and dropped her chin on to the baby’s head and began to sing, “Hush, Little Baby.” Not surprisingly, Williams’s thoughts turned to Mary and the Christmas story. It’s a beautiful reflection:
Helpless fragility is the lot of the infant. Those early days leave a lasting impression on the human psyche we never really resolve. That vulnerability stays with us all of our days, reminding us of the seemingly capricious nature of things—a bitter world that does not care if we exist.
But then God came—as an infant, unable to reach out and steady himself on the seat back in front of him, fully trusting a human, fallible mother to pull him close to her breast through the pitching, shaking nature of things.
What an extraordinary risk, to trust the infant of God to a frightened young girl.
But then again—watching that new mother sing to her child all the way through the turbulent skies to the welcoming runway—I realized God knew good and well what he was doing. The power of love trumps fear, rewards risk, and brings meaning and life to an otherwise frightening world. Over and over again.
For a God who would become powerless for love, and to a mother who sings softly in her infant's ear, I give my heart for Christmas, wholly amazed at the wonder of it all.
For this final Sunday before Christmas of 2012, we’re turning our attention to one of the greatest surprises of the entire Christmas narrative—Mary. At first glance this peasant girl seems an odd choice to be the mother of the newborn king. But Luke, one of the gospel writers, points to Mary not as an oddity, but as an example for us. I’ll be showing you why.