“Reach,” I encouraged as my two-year old stretched up onto her toes and reached her arms up to the hospital basinet where her new baby sister slept, “you’re almost there!”
Through tears in my eyes, I watched my daughters bond for the very first time as she reached over and placed the blankie that she had picked out for her sissy in that basinet. From that day on, those two were blankie buddies. Fuzzy Wuzzy and Blankie Bear. The sweet softness of those new babies wrapped up in those fresh new blankies is forever etched in my memory.
They have drug their blankets through life with them. Leaned on them for comfort and security. Depended on them to chase midnight scaries away and mend sick bellies. Those blankets have dried a lot of tears and had a lot of nose crusties stuck to them. As they get older, we see them a little less, and I hope their hearts are learning to transfer those blankie securities into Jesus’ loving arms.
Today’s verse is so touching because it’s so leveling. Snuggled in a blanket, just like every other human being that has ever been born. Nothing special about it, except for who He was. The word-age is repeated when Luke quotes the angels:
“And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12
Anytime the Bible repeats anything, it’s important. Those strips of cloth communicated so much to the Shepherds. “Just like it was told to us,” they said upon arrival. It says so much to us. Christ came down to our level. He was never of the world, but He existed on our level. Why? God could have freed us from sin without Jesus living out over three decades of life on earth and dying a horrendous death …but it would not have been enough.
The weight of our sin had to be carried by someone worthy enough to sacrifice enough so that we could stand in the presence of our holy God …who requires “enough” for that to happen. He can’t be in the presence of sin.
That baby, cuddled by His momma and loved by His family. I remember those first moments in the hospital with my babies. Everytime they wander around with their blankies I remember those first sweet cuddles. The fullness of Mary’s heart is the model for every mother to come after her. Hold onto those baby cuddles while they can be held. Blankets don’t last forever, and babies grow up. Our kiddos eventually let go of their blankies, and we let go of them as they grow …but we never have to let go of Jesus. The longer we know Him, the closer He feels.
Father, Praise you for Jesus’ birth. Thank You for allowing Him to come down to earth and take on our sin so that we can feel His closeness and stand in Your presence for all time. Like the comfort of a blanket worn in with memories, You have trod every second with us lovingly and patiently. Forgive us for failing to remember how much You love us back. Bless us to dedicate our lives to sharing Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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