All posts tagged: children

The Advent Fulfilled: Looking Closely At King Herod’s Blood-Stained Hands

Christmas devotions are spent in the living room, sprawled on the floor and snuggling on couches. The soft, twinkling lights on the tree cast magic into the room and we tell the story, again, of the appearance of the angel to Mary, of the travels to to Bethlehem, of the night the canopy of sky rolled back and the glory of heaven appeared and angels sang. But the day King Herod ordered the slaughter of Bethlehem boys… well, that sounds like the record was ripped from the player and the needle scratches and we sit stunned by the grotesque. And every year my kids are aghast at the horror of that king’s actions and we talk about what history tells us about Herod the Great, King of the Jews under Caesar. Ultimately, the question comes: why didn’t God stop him from killing babies? Advertisements

The Advent Fulfilled: How to Be A Mother to The Son of God

What does a mother do when she holds this in her arms? “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:2,6 And what does she make of these words, spoken tenderly from an old man to a young mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce you own soul too.” And after Simeon, wise and old, “righteous and devout” finishes blessing the child and cautioning Mary of the future troubles, ancient Anna hobbles up and with a great smile, toothless no doubt, nearly blind at eighty-four years of age, begins to praise Yahweh for this baby who would be the “redemption of Israel”.

The Advent Fulfilled: Salvation Is His Name

Yeshua. The name slipped like a sigh into the darkness. Yeshua, the Lord Saves. Yahweh is Salvation. His face scrunched into a pout, eyes squeezed tight and his tiny mouth opened in a hungry wail, bottom lip quivering. Yeshua. Hungry boy, naked babe, wrapped in soft flax and wool and hearing his mother’s voice whispered into the air, over his head, into his little, curled ear: the Lord Saves. He heard this name called sharply when he toddled too close to the cooking fire, heard it frantically called through the temple, heard it every night as he grew up, “Goodnight, Yeshua.” Sleep well, the Lord Saves.

The Advent Fulfilled: The Gift of Ever-Increasing Glory

For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. {2 Corinthians 4:6} Dark and silence had settled over the hospital halls. In the small hours of morning, I held my firstborn baby and marveled at her features, her black, serious eyes, her rosebud mouth; her presence, long awaited I now felt in my arms, her features, once imagined, I now traced with my fingertips. I drank in the full reality of her. And to this day almost two decades later, I never tire of looking at the faces of my children. That first-born child followed a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, a blighted hope, a fullness that dissipated and disappeared instead of developing into a baby who would force her way from dark womb into the light. As the weeks stacked upon one another, I looked at my growing belly with more hope and less fear that this little …

The Advent Fulfilled: “Wait”lessness

Harry: So why don’t you tell me the story of your life. Sally: The story of my life? Harry: We got 18 hours to kill before we hit New York. Sally: The story of my life isn’t even gonna get us out of Chicago; I mean, nothing’s happened to me yet. That’s why I’m going to New York. Harry: So something will happen to you? Sally: Yes. (From When Harry Met Sally) We spend the majority of our lives waiting. Waiting for our ship to come in, for that call after the job interview, for the day we turn 16, for a driver’s license, for the labor to begin, for the baby to arrive, for enough time, for Friday, for our next vacation, for our lives to begin, even for our lives to end.