If I Ruled The World, There Would Be No Christmas
Often at Christmas time my thoughts turn to Mary. I think about how she must’ve felt being an unwed mother. I wonder about that trek to Bethlehem on the back of a donkey being 9 months pregnant (woof). I think about what a wonder it must have been to hold that teeny, tiny Savior baby. I think of her because I’m a mother and, like in any story, I’m trying to identify with the female character.
This year it’s been different. My thoughts haven’t gone to Mary like they normally do.
The last week or so I’ve been thinking about God the Father. The Father who sent His only Son into a world that He knew would hate Him and eventually kill Him. He knew because this was His plan all along. Just so we’re clear, this would not have been my plan if I were God of the universe. In no scenario would I consider a plan that killed my kid for a people that had betrayed me over and over again. Never would I ever make this my plan. This sounds like the worst plan ever. In my plan, my kid doesn't leave our Heaven and come down to a world that doesn't accept Him. I guess this means there would be no Christmas if I was running things.
I’ve been thinking about how God must’ve felt when Jesus left heaven to come to earth as a baby. Sending his perfect child into an imperfect world where He knew He would be mistreated, hurt, and abused could not have been easy. I reread through the Gospels concerning the birth of Jesus to see if I had somehow missed the part where God and Jesus gave each other a teary embrace and said goodbye to one another. Or was there a part that mentions God’s anguish over giving His Son to the world on the night Jesus was born? Nope. In the truest form of parent sacrifice, He didn’t include his feelings. As parents we often hold back how we feel because we know it’s not about us, it’s about the kids.
It was always about Jesus.
And when Jesus was born the angels in Heaven didn’t cry, they rejoiced. They told the shepherds to go see this Savior baby. They praised God for His glory had been personified in baby Jesus. God didn’t sit and wallow in the fact that His Son was no longer physically with Him; He knew the best was yet to come.
I don’t believe we have an unfeeling God. If we are created in His image and we have feelings, it leads me to believe He has them too. I think it was heart-wrenching for God to watch His Son leave Heaven to come here. What it must have taken to hand His Son over to a teenage girl and her fiancé to love and raise. Now, He did get to handpick the parents so He sort of knew what He was getting there, but still, they were flawed human beings.
No, this would in no way be my plan to save the world.
As a recipient of this extraordinary kindness, I can think of no greater love story I’d rather be a part of. Unlike us, God knows how the story will end. He is writing a beautiful love story full of heartbreak and redemption and the main character in all of it is Jesus. He doesn’t place the highest importance on His own feelings, rather, He lets Jesus shine and do the work prepared for Him. The work He did willingly because He loved His Father and, ultimately, He loved us too.
We do hard things for the people we love. Self-sacrificing things. It’s not an easy love. It “bears ALL things, believes ALL things, hopes ALL things, endures ALL things. (1 Cor. 13:7 emphasis mine)
Gosh I’m thankful for a Father like that. I don’t understand a love like that. I wouldn’t give my kids up for anybody. I don’t understand how Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac simply because God asked Him to do it. I don’t know that I’m capable of it. I hope I am, but I also hope it’s never required of me.
So this Christmas I’m pondering on God the Father: the Father who selflessly gave us His Son because, at the end of it all, He just wants to be with us. He did what He had to do for the people He loved. He knew Jesus would be ok, but I’m sure that didn’t make it easier to endure. This is the God that loves us, ya’ll. I hope you take some time to sit in your belovedness this season. May we be like Mary, treasuring all these things in our hearts: the love God has for us, the love Jesus has for us, and the hope that we have because of these truths.