The Eighth Night of Christmas (pain, tears, sadness, a name)

Stained glass depicting the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus

I wonder if Mary slept on this night – the night when her tiny babe perhaps whimpered and wept in lingering pain.

On this day, her babe was circumcised, formally marked as a Jew, one of God’s chosen people.

God himself, marked as belonging to himself. Our faith is a paradox in countless ways.

On this day, her babe was named, formally identified as Yeshua bar Joseph. Jesus, son of Joseph. His earthly name for his earthly identity, which was fully him.

But also this: Christos, the only begotten of God. Messiah son of God. His essential name for his divine identity, which was fully him. The paradoxes are indeed countless.

But on this night, for the young mother Mary cradling her newborn babe, the paradoxes of name and identity and purpose matter little. For her, the paradoxes are more earthy, more present, more immediate:

I love this child more than anything I have ever loved…yet he is but eight days old.

I am exhausted beyond words, tired to death, weary in body and soul…yet I would move a mountain to protect and love my child.

I am ill-equipped for this task, unable to provide what any babe needs…yet I am Mother and Mary and Me, ready for all that lies ahead.

I wonder what Mary called her babe before he was named on this day, what she breathed into his ears as she held him at her breast, what she sang in her mind as she celebrated his life?

My Child. You. Precious One. Mine.

I wonder what God calls us as he breathes into our souls while cradling us in his loving arms, what he sings in his heart as he celebrates our life?

My Child. You. Precious One. Mine.

It is the eighth night of Christmas. The Christ-child is now marked and named. Are we?

 

2 thoughts on “The Eighth Night of Christmas (pain, tears, sadness, a name)

  1. tonyroberts January 1, 2018 / 12:33 pm

    Crystal, a wonderfully imaginative devotion. Beautifully put!

  2. ckirgiss January 1, 2018 / 12:53 pm

    Thank you, Tony, for the kind words. Hope you are enjoying Day One of 2018 – just another ordinary special day.

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