I wonder if Mary watched the first Christmas sunrise. I wonder if she held her baby to her chest and rocked Him back and forth as she watched the sunrise flood over the barren hills of Bethlehem. The same hills that King David had herded his father’s flocks of sheep on, sending a morning song from his harp to his God. The same hills over which he might have run trying to evade the king who wanted him dead. The same hills on which God had promised to bless Israel with a Savior, all those years ago.
And did she know that she held the Sunrise in her arms?
That as the dawn was washing over the hills and homes of Bethlehem, she held the Light which had first separated the day from the night and would shine in the present darkness that Israel and the whole world found themselves wrapped up in. Light which the darkness would not overpower.
Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.Luke 1:78-79
While reading Micah a few days ago, I stumbled upon a cross reference for Hosea 11. And I stumbled into a sacred part of a sacred story.
“How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
“How can I surrender you, O Israel?
“How can I treat you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
“My heart is turned over within Me, all My compassions are kindled.” (Hosea 11:8)
The words on the page seemed to be the soul of a heart-wrenching story of love. Can you hear the aching in God’s voice? The aching of a love so deep and the heartbreak of His lover’s unfaithfulness. Our God knows the pain it is to love and not be loved in return. He knows it as deeply as the scars that wound His hands and side.
I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, And I will not come in wrath.Hosea 11:9
Rather He came as just that: the Holy One in our midst. To do what we could never do, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). To cleanse us from our sins, once and for all, to bring reconciliation and hope through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.
To the darkness comes a light.
My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the lowly state of His bondslave; for behold from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name.Luke 1:46-49
That was Mary’s song of awe and praise to the Lord. And that is my song, to the Lord who is our Savior. Oh friend, isn’t He beautiful?
Merry Christmas, dear readers. I pray that this story of love would grasp your heart, and hold it with whatever pains and troubles and sickness that are there and that the light would shine gently upon you filling your soul with hope. Because hope is so very real and so very alive.
He who is mighty has done a great thing!!
Merry Christmas ❤