child: from Mary’s child to Man of Sorrows

Few things stir our deep protective, nurturing instincts more than a newborn baby. Such sweet vulnerability resides within each child. Those tiny toes seem like a mini miracle in themselves. A simple grasp of tiny fist clinging to adult finger is a reminder of how fragile a new life is.

As we bend to a baby, kiss a brow, give nourishment, witness growth and change before our eyes, do we ever consider Mary, mother of our Lord, as she lovingly tended to her son?

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…” ~ Isaiah 9:6

Mary may well have pondered the years ahead for her child, Jesus, and wondered just what would happen to Him. His life spans eternity and earthly reality…

Hand that flung stars into space reduced to starfish-baby span—made calloused by carpentry, torn by sharp nails, pinioned to a cross of sorrow and shame.

A mouth that spoke creation into existence made milky-soft, dependent, to become a voice of wisdom, instruction and healing for others.

Feet used to circling the world with silent steps—now made to tread weary over dusty pathways, carry a heavy cross and be impaled there for our sake.

Arms reaching for a mother’s loving touch, become outstretched in poured-out love and grace to save the world from itself.

“and the government will be on his shoulders” ~ Isaiah 9:6

Head unsteady as a babe in arms—bleeding, pierced through with a crown of thorns.

Jesus entered our life to give His life for all. #faith #Saviour #ChristtheLord Click To Tweet

Body swaddled tender, close—hung on a cross, readied for death, burial and resurrection. Jesus entered our life to give His life for all.

The entrance of new life is usually a great cause for celebration. Mary’s child was delivered in humble circumstances, though His birth was prophesied hundreds of years beforehand, announced by an angel and heralded by an angelic choir.

“Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom” ~ Isaiah 9:7

Instead of being warmly welcomed by all around, Jesus was in danger for His very life, as an earthly king sought to kill Him.

Gifts were given that symbolised His life: gold for kingship, frankincense for His priestly role, and myrrh as an acknowledgement of His suffering and death to come.

When we look at the Nativity infant, do we see the Man of Sorrows to come? #Jesus #Saviour Click To Tweet

When we look at the Nativity infant, do we see the Man of Sorrows to come? Do we realise the huge significance of His coming to earth to die for us?

Sadly, few stop to see beyond the sweetness of a sleeping infant cradled in a manger, a child wrapped in swaddling cloth, helpless and dependent.

Many ignore the growing child becoming Jesus the Teacher and Preacher, a Man of Sorrows, the Messiah-King, Christ our Saviour and Lord of all.

Jesus willingly spent His life for us, for you and me.

As I celebrate Christmas this year, I will have the joy of spending some quality time with my toddler grandson, marvel at the changes in him since we were last together.

I will hold him close, boy-child as he has become, and do my best to play with him. And as I do so, my mind will stray to that first Christmas when Christ the Lord entered our earthly existence.

Gratitude will rise and I will thank Him for coming as an infant, as Mary’s child. For being Saviour, Lord and Friend, for His great gift of new life for all—now and into eternity.

Jesus willingly spent His life for us, for you and me. #faith #Jesus #Saviour Click To Tweet

My hope and prayer is that your eyes will see Jesus in this way, too, as you celebrate His coming to earth.

6 Comments

  1. Dear Joy,
    These are such wondrous thoughts to ponder as you hold your beautiful little Grandson. But these, of course, are speaking to me today: “Hand that flung stars into space reduced to starfish-baby span—made calloused by carpentry, torn by sharp nails, pinioned to a cross of sorrow and shame.” I’m still being drawn into thoughts about hands, as I am home, fresh from my husband’s hand surgery. Oh the sweet love of my Lord, infinite being made finite and weak for our sake! Thank you my dear friend, for sharing your heart through these words, so timely for me. May you be blessed this Season of Advent! Hugs! xoxo

    1. Dear Bettie, it doesn’t surprise me if hands are very much on your mind right now. I was delighted to hear your husband’s surgery went well and he was able to be discharged home so soon. May he continue to recover without undue complications. Our hands are such necessary things, aren’t they? I’ve had treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome in the past and experienced a dislocated shoulder twice. Those things made ‘normal’ life challenging for a while, as does having arthritis in my hands now. Pain is unwanted but it definitely serves to remind us of our frail humanity! I’m glad you found something here that resonated with you, my friend. Thinking and praying for you and your husband as you adjust to his incapacity in the days ahead. May you be given all the strength, energy and additional support you both need. Abundant Advent blessings to you and your loved ones! xoxo

  2. There is always such beauty and depth in your words. I am in awe of the grace you portray through your writing. Your words today remind me of a quote from a Max Lucado book I am reading right now. It is called Because of Bethlehem. Max says… “Because of Bethlehem, I have a Savior in heaven. Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The child in the cradle became the King on the cross.” I believe that is exactly what you are trying to say today. Thank you for challenging us to think beyond the manger.

    1. Mary, I love the words from Max Lucado which you have shared, especially these: “Christmas begins what Easter celebrates.” Oh yes, exactly so! It’s hard to look at the babe in the manger and not think of the King on the cross. Your sweet friendship and lovely encouragement is such a gift to me. Thank you for being here. I appreciate you! xo

  3. Beautiful words of life and hope, Joy. It’s so unfathomable what Jesus has done and still does out of such love for us. “Arms reaching for a mother’s loving touch, become outstretched in poured-out love and grace to save the world from itself.” So incomprehensible, isn’t it?

    I’m so glad you have access to this site again. Thank you for your encouragement today and throughout the year. You are such a caring, supportive friend.

    I hope you have a wonderful time with your little grandson and your family. May Jesus’ faithful love bring hope into your hearts! Love and hugs!

    1. Oh Trudy, you touch on the key thing that makes us react with increasing wonder and awe in this season: “It’s so unfathomable what Jesus has done and still does out of such love for us.” Isn’t it just?! I’m so grateful for you being here, dear friend, and I’m doing a happy dance on the inside for your prayers contributing to me being back to writing here again. I’m humbled by your kind thoughts. Please know I think of you in that way too. May you have a time of treasuring all the wonderful things God has done in you and through you this year. Your beautiful blog is a real Hope Harbour for me and for all who read your faith filled words. God is truly and powerfully at work in you! As you celebrate with your family, “May Jesus’ faithful love bring hope into your hearts!” And may you discover just how precious you are to them, to us and to God. Blessings and love! xo <3

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