For some, today is the day when we pack up all our decorations and get ready for the new year. For others, we still have more Christmas celebrations to look forward to. But I am still pondering the wonder that is Christmas.
If Mary lived into today’s culture, things could have been different. She was a girl younger than me, unmarried, pregnant, and scared. The thing to do would’ve been to just ‘take care’ of the baby. Everyone would have told her that she just needed to ‘just get rid of the problem’. She wasn’t equipped or ready to be a mother. I try to imagine how I would have felt in her shoes. How terrified and confused I would be. Her parents were ashamed. Her fiancé was devastated, thinking she had been disloyal. Who would have believed me if I said that my baby was a holy Son of God and conceived in virginity? And who would have believed her?
Every life is precious. Before birth, after birth, and all the way to natural death. Jesus himself treasured children. He said let the little children come to me. He loved them for their faith, joy, and unshakable excitement towards life. They probably did not understand what he was teaching. They would not have gotten as much out of it as the adults would have. But he did not stop them, in fact he insisted they were allowed to come. He never loved or did not love someone based on their age. He loved all simply for existing, because they were people.
We are made in his image, and therefore are the most precious things in the universe. That might sound pretentious, but he never intended us to be anything less. We are his holiest creation, his greatest feat. Penguins, dolphins, and eagles may seem more exotic. But God placed us above all of creation, and created us alone in the likeness of him. That makes us the most exotic creatures of all. We are the stewards of this world and future generations. A mother deer looks after her young. A litter of puppies are not left alone. How can we profess to love or care for anything, if we do not protect our own?
The above photo is of my younger brother, Nicky and our cousin Anna.