With the birth of a baby, visitors come as admirers, but also (if even secretly) they long for an added bonus – the opportunity to cuddle the new little person for at least a few moments.
“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” — Luke 2:15
The shepherds took off after the angelic birth announcement — took off running that is, straight to the place the Baby lay. These guys tenderly cared for sheep, They showed toughness when needed. They provided gentleness when they held the lambs in their arms, too.
As the shepherds entered the barn, they would not have noticed the smells. They lived around farm aromas all the time. They would not have noticed the chill in the air. They lived outdoors with their sheep. But they would have noticed Mom and Dad and the Newborn Babe — The Lamb of God to be exact.
If they had not asked first, I believe Mary offered for them to hold her Boy. Who says “No” to that opportunity? Did the shepherds cradle their Savior in their arms that night? Did they hold Him and behold Him?
“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” — Luke 2:17-18 (NIV)
As they ran and spread the news, everyone was amazed. They spread the excitement that only comes from a personal encounter. How many more visitors stopped in to see for themselves? To hold and behold? How many more may have held Perfect Love even briefly?
Picture yourself at the stable. Mary asks, “Would you like to hold Him? What thoughts run through your mind? We know the story well as we reflect, providing us an even more amazing perspective. It’s incredibly tough to give words to your emotions, isn’t it?
Do you feel the weight of your sin, knowing in 33 short years this Infant will die a grueling death for you to live?
Are you overwhelmed with the love you see in His baby face?
Do you wonder what thoughts He had toward you as He looked into your eyes and felt your arms around Him?
“Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” — Luke 2:19
What have you held and treasured this Christmas? Have You Held Mary’s Baby?
Copyright 2018, Lynn U. Watson
Bible quotations taken from New International Version