“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.)3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2.1-7
Typically this time of the year my family and I would already be in Colorado skiing. Since I was a child, my family had a tradition of driving to New Mexico to spend the Christmas in the snow. Now, we fly to Colorado! But not this year. This year we have to stay in Texas for one very good reason — the birth of a son.
Now this son is a grandson and just so happens to coincide with the birth of another Son. It’s not lost on me for one minute. And I am not ignoring the fact that what happened to Mary so many years ago is also happening to my daughter in law during this season. Now I realize Jesus was most likely born in the Spring, but I am not discounting the fact that now is when we celebrate Jesus’ birth and now is when my first grandson will be born into the world. The timing of his birth, so close to the celebrated birth of Jesus, is exciting.
I can only imagine how Mary and Joseph felt giving birth to the Messiah, the Son of God, Savior to the World. My grandson is certainly not the Savior, however, he will benefit from the Savior’s love. One day, perhaps he will read this, and know the love of Jesus personally for himself. His parents know his love and are growing in it. They will pass down the love of God to this son. A love that is pure, holy, and from God. A love that is to be shared with others for many generations.
And when my grandson Oliver begins to speak and call me “Stowy,” my pre-given grandfather name, I want him to see Jesus in me. I want to tell him about the story of his birth and how wonderfully timed it was with the birth of the Messiah. Even though his friends will all be on Christmas break, and he might not have a school party in the classroom, he will have the special notion of celebrating a birth alongside Jesus. And this is even better. The present he will gain will be that the world is rejoicing in the Presence of the Christ. His birth will always be filled with lights and music and joyful anticipation of the One who is to come.
I’ve never had a grandson and associating his birth with Jesus is the best and the most beautiful. And when he comes tomorrow, on December 22, 2022, what a day of rejoicing it will be. And although he will be born and laid in a crib, and not a manger, born into a hospital and not a barn, he will be born in love and Christ will put his mark upon him as a beloved child of God.
“O Lord God, I am so excited for this newest addition to our family. For this grandson, this child who brings a reminder of the promise of Jesus. Come now, Holy Spirit, and fall upon this young family, and all families who are giving birth during this season. That they might have a special reminder of your love upon their lives. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen