I don’t think I realized how many complications there could be with pregnancy until I became pregnant for the first time. Growing life is an amazing miracle, filled with complex details that have to progress just right in order for both baby and mother to be healthy.
In my pregnancy with my first child, things did not progress just right. Something in my body didn’t respond correctly to the presence of a baby. I developed severe preeclampsia. And for the sake of my baby’s health and mine, my son had to be delivered by c-section eight weeks early.
I have noticed that at Christmas, we tend to think of Jesus as a baby, and to think of Mary as a pregnant woman. But we rarely put those two thoughts together.
I cannot wrap my head around the Son of God existing inside the body of a human being. Perhaps since God the Father was still sitting on throne of His sovereignty, there wasn’t a real risk that something would go wrong with Jesus’ growth in the womb.
But still, it seems so remarkably humbling to me.
Jesus submitted His existence to the inner workings of a young woman’s body. He came to earth not just as an infant, but as an unborn baby. As a being that looked at first, like a little tadpole, then slowly grew arms and legs, fingers, and toes. That developed a beating heart and functioning organs slowly, overtime, as his body absorbed nutrients consumed by his mother.
I want to know what that pregnancy was like. Did Jesus kick a lot? Was He an active baby, stretching his arms and legs, anxious to break free into the world? Or was He content to rest as He waited out the process of growth?
How did His body and Mary’s body struggle together in the birth process? Were the contractions strong? The labor arduous and slow?
Whatever the answers to those questions, it is the asking of them that brings me to wonder.
Jesus did not have to come this way. He could have come to earth as an adult. Or simply appeared on the doorstep of the Temple one day as a baby in a basket.
If He wanted to, Jesus could have skipped the pregnancy and birth part.
But when Jesus chose to enter into the human experience, He chose to enter it fully.
This beginning of life dependency is something all of us have in common. We grow inside the body of another, dependent on her for care and survival.
Jesus chose to submit to this humble beginning of life in the womb. He showed us the depth of what the name Immanuel, God with us, really means.
Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story is an Advent series designed to help us pause and reflect on how amazing the stories of Jesus’ birth really are. To break through the cluttered busyness of the season and touch our hearts with the awe of what God has done. Let’s make this a season of wonder and worship, marveling together at our great God.