A Son Given

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given …” - Isaiah 9:6 

By: Cynthia Givens

When the girls were young, John and I shared bedtime responsibilities.  Our routine consisted of reading a couple of short books, then telling a story.  John grew up in a camping family and had lots of great life stories to tell: nearly getting stuck in a tidal cave (!) with his older sister, for example.  My family’s idea of roughing it was staying in a hotel without room service -- which doesn’t make for exciting bedtime tales -- so when it was my turn to do bedtime, I would tell stories from the Bible.

My favorite story to tell -- the one requested over and over -- was the story of Jesus’ birth. I tried to make the story come to life for the girls (while maintaining theological integrity!) by imagining the food Mary & Joseph ate along the way, where they camped, how they may have interacted with other travelers. Eventually they arrived in Bethlehem, ended up in the barn/cave/stable and it was time for Jesus to enter the world. 

“Every baby is special,” I would tell them, because in fact I had learned that every single baby is a gift from God.  Whether it has been longed and planned for years or has taken us by surprise, each infant that comes into this world has the mark of his or her Creator; God’s hand will be on that little one’s life! 

“But this baby,” I would continue, “was extra-special,” explaining that Jesus was the One promised by God thousands of years before. 

Here in fact was the Wonder of Christmas: in the cold, still darkness of a Bethlehem night, the Baby who had been longed for, hoped for, waited for had just entered our world.

“Help us, Lord, to see past the noise and commotion of this busy season and focus on Your truth: You loved us and sent us Your son.”