A Mother’s Hopes

For a child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.—Isaiah 9:6

If you’ve ever held a baby—especially your own—you’ve held a world of hopes and dreams. He will be intelligent. She will be a prodigy. He will be strong. She will be accomplished. He will be kind. She will be gentle. He will be funny. She will be clever. He will be precocious. She will be determined.

He will be a doctor. She will be an engineer. He will be a leader. She will be a celebrity. He will be handsome. She will be beautiful. He will be everything I wasn’t. She will be everything I wish I could be.

Within our arms we hold a potential for greatness. But within our arms we also hold heartbreak that offsets the joys—disappointment standing in juxtaposition to our pride—because within our arms is a fallible human. One like us.

We mothers can say our child is perfect knowing he isn’t, not really. But acknowledging our child’s imperfection does nothing to quell our fears that we are inadequate for the task at hand.

No human can fulfill all our hopes. None except One: the one in Mary’s arms.

In Mary’s arms was a child who would exceed her greatest expectations. Looking upon His face, she would be incapable of comprehending His greatness. Looking into His eyes, she would only see her own insufficiency—certainly not His.

In Mary’s arms was the One who spoke creation into existence (John 1:3, 10; Colossians 1:16; 1 Corinthians 8:6), the One who knit her together in her mother’s womb. In her arms was the Great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, the image of the invisible God. In her arms was her healer, her deliverer, her redeemer, her Messiah, her Lord and her King.

Though born as a baby, He was eternal. Though frail and seemingly helpless, He was omnipotent. Though uneducated, He was omniscient. Though dependent upon his mother, He was one with His Father.

Born in humility, He was highly exalted. Born in obscurity, His was the name above all names. Born in mystery, He was the word made flesh.

Though words cannot describe Him, He is our mediator, our intercessor, our shepherd, our resurrection, our peace, our life. He was and is and always shall be. Unlike the babies we hold in our arms, no hopes we place upon Him are too great. Unlike the babies we hold in our arms, our expectations of Him are often too few.

He is greater than the sum of our thoughts of Him, just as His grace is greater than the sum of our sin. He is faithful even when we are faithless. He is good even when our world is anything but. He is there even when no one else is. Look upon Him. Behold His greatness. Believe.

May the Christ child be born in each of our hearts this Christmas. May faith be your greatest gift, and may Christ be your greatest hope, for in Him, hope does not disappoint. This is the true joy of Christmas.

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