“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:6).
We have a new baby in our family – my son’s fiancé gave birth to a sweet baby boy a few weeks ago and he won my heart right away. We are snuggle buddies and I plan to spoil him thoroughly (Sorry Mom and Dad). While he is snoozing on my chest, I love to study his little fingers and toes and pray that those hands will be lifted in praise to God and those feet will walk in the way of Jesus. I am committed to remind him every day that God loves him and created him for a very special purpose.
I imagine Mary also marveled at the tiny fingers and tiny toes of her baby as she kissed that downy head. I am sure she gazed at His face as He slept and her heart was awash with Mother-love. But when she pondered where those feet would go and what those hands would do, surely the words of the angel echoed in her heart: “You will give birth to a son . . . He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:31-33). Her son was destined for greatness – but she could never imagine the path He would take to get there. Rejection, persecution, suffering and death would mark Jesus’ earthly life. He would wear a crown of thorns rather than a crown of gold and His hands and feet would be nailed to a cross rather than kissed in adoration.
But there, in the smelly stable – little more than a cold, dark cave – she kissed that sweet face and caressed those tiny fingers, knowing in her heart that her life would never be the same. He would one day “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), but this little one needed her now. The helpless future King was depending on His mother to feed and nurture Him until He fulfilled God’s purpose.
Babies bring out the tenderness in a mother’s heart and no doubt Mary felt the sweetness of her newborn son even as she wondered about the angelic announcement. His life held the greatest purpose imaginable. He was destined to be a King, but not tonight – tonight He was her baby boy with tiny fingers and tiny toes.
Read Luke 2:1-7