On Valentine’s Day we are expecting the arrival of our fifth grandchild. I already know that this child is a girl. I know that she will be welcomed into a loving family that includes two brothers.
From some amazing 3D sonograms, we already have an idea that she will look more like brother No. 2 than No. 1. We also know that her parents will name her Marlee Rose.
Our entire family is so excited about her impending birth, and our hearts are already filled with love for this little girl.
It is amazing how much we can tell about children, and even do for them, before they are ever born. Technology has allowed us to know the sex of a fetus, and we can be made aware of certain medical problems and genetic anomalies prior to birth.
When possible, moms and dads set about creating a beautiful nursery and being honored at baby showers that offer them an array of clothing, gear and toys for the baby soon to be born.
I know that little Marlee’s room will be striped in two shades of pink and have frilly curtains and a white dresser and crib. It is a wonderful time, this nesting and preparing to welcome a child into the world.
It wasn’t the case for a teen named Mary so very long ago. While my daughter is a married woman with financial resources, it was not the case for that young girl Mary when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her she was to have God’s son.
Let’s think about what Mary knew at the time. We are told she was young and still a virgin. We know she was betrothed to a man named Joseph who was a carpenter by trade. We are not told, but it is presumed, that Mary was not a rich girl, but rather quite humble of origin. I am certain that she wasn’t thinking about nursery colors or baby showers.
Mary must have been scared and confused and not at all certain of what was to come when she went to tell Joseph. The only thing Mary knew was that she was a servant of God, had accepted his will for her and was to call this child Emmanuel.
It really takes my breath away. When I think of that young pregnant girl, my first thought is how alone, bewildered and frightened she must have felt. That makes me feel so grateful to her faith for her obedience to the Lord. She carried our Savior, she faced Joseph, and with the help of a dream God created to help him understand, she and her betrothed set out to fulfill the prophecy of the Old Testament.
I contemplate this because we are now in the season of Advent, when we prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of the Christ child. Once again, we celebrate Jesus’ birth and all he did for us as he took on human form to live and die and atone for our sins. To think that he was born to a woman, just as you and I were, makes it seem so special. To think that Jesus was a fully human, though divine, makes me feel even closer to my Redeemer. We are so blessed.
And so as we prepare for our little Marlee Rose, we also know to whom we give thanks for her earthly life and the promise of her life eternal. It is the same Christ the Lord whom we are preparing to celebrate on Christmas morning.