Christmas Eve

25 Dec

 theotokos1

For the first time in our Anglican life, I went to the 5:00 family service instead of midnighht mass on Christmas Eve.  This is, obviously, because this is my first Christmas Eve as a mommy.  Though I had to miss my favorite service of the season, I feel far closer to the Lord and Mother Mary this year than any other.

Soon the Virgin will give birth.  It is but a little less than five months ago that I labored and delivered Adeline.  I labored in a warm, comfortable hospital room.  I had a birth plan that indicated if and what pain medications I may want, what positions I would like to labor in, who I wanted in the room, what liquids/foods I would wish to have.  I had nurses at the push of a call button, medical professionals with sterile instruments, and medical knowledge of what was happening to me.  So, at this hour when when Mary would be laboring with our Savior, I think about the conditions in which she brought him into this world. Suffering and surrounded by animals, most likely without proper sustenance, and definitely without a midwife or doctor.

I wonder if Mary knew the reward that would be the world’s because of her faithfulness.  I wonder if pushing was made easier by knowing that the son of God would soon emerge from her.  I wonder if she was worried that something may go wrong.As soon as she was born, I knew that Adeline was made in the image of our God and that she had been set a part by Him for His purposes…but how would it feel to know that your child IS God?  “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)  Man, I know that feeling!

As a new mommy, I must admit I feel a little bit of guilt and regret towards Mary.  I know that this day, as her Son, our Savior, is born, I have already sentenced him to death.  I have sinned against my neighbor, my Savior, and, in turn, His/Our Mother.  And yet, she intercedes for her Son’s murderers. Should someone (God, please forbid it) inflict pain on Adeline, would I be able to ask for his salvation in a court of law?  I cannot think that I would, nor would want to.  But the Blessed Virgin does so for me – and on a MUCH bigger level.

So as the clock nears 12:00 PM, I think of Mary and her labor and delivery more intently and knowingly than I ever have.  I pray that someday my daughter will feel closer to Mary simply by becoming a mother, and as such will feel closer to her Savior…because once He was a baby not so different than she is now.

The Magnificat (Song of Mary)

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.
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