It is such a blessing to have a baby in this season. In some small way Jen and I can sit in the unique situation Mary was in. The inconvenience and struggles of late pregnancy, the pains of labor, and the difficulties that come with teaching a baby to nurse. Then imagining going through all that alone, for the first time, as a teenager, and in a society that would give her a sideways look for having a baby out of wedlock. It would take divine intervention to remind her in those dark thoughts of an angel visiting her as a young teen, of John leaping in Elizabeth’s womb, of her overwhelmed heart magnifying The Lord, or of the Old Testament prophecies calling on the little boy to be the savior of the world.
Sitting in that moment...What would it be like to be Mary? In the vulgarity and rawness of birth. What would it like to be Joseph? Confused and maybe annoyed by this little girl if it weren't for an angel that visited him in a dream so many months before. Why would God choose such a lonely and confusing situation for the savior of the world to be born?
Just as Mary could have chosen to turn inward into embarrassment or disbelief. Joseph could have chosen to dismiss the girl and her baby. Instead they chose to stick together and lean into the most important community they have, their little family.
It's often when our backs are against the wall that we realize what really matters and what we really need. Maybe, through these humble beginnings God is teaching us that the setting and circumstance does not define the importance of the moment or give us strength but it’s the people that we are with.
Christmas 2020 will not be much different from the rest of 2020. Socially isolated, logistically difficult, and longing for something better. Maybe that's right where God has you to see the importance of the moments you have with the people you see everyday. With your back against the wall you can create culture within your family that confronts both the humility of quarantine and the challenges of the outside world.
Within the Waller family we start teaching this through repeating a series of signs to help guide our children’s lives. The story of Mary and Joseph does well to remind us of our fourth sign. Where I would say to them “Together… and they respond “we are stronger” so they would remember that their family is their best support.
Whatever your family’s culture looks like or what you aspire it to look like there is no better time than the present to remind your children that their greatest strength are the same people they will share Christmas with.
From our team to yours,