It is late on this Christmas night as I sit in my favorite chair, the soft glow of the Christmas tree soothing in the tranquility of this moment. The last few days have been filled with the laughter of togetherness and of secrecy, of cooking and of eating, of wrapping and of unwrapping gifts that delighted the giver as much as the receiver.

I have enjoyed these holiday moments with my children. The memories of Christmas past influence the Christmas of the present with a bittersweet joy. Holidays reminding me that life goes by in a blink.

I look at my children – really look at the people they are today – such good people,  this awareness is my happiness.

A song comes on Pandora radio, as Pentatonix sings, “Mary Did You Know?” My fingers grow still on the keyboard as I listen to that question and I wonder what, on this day of Jesus’ birth did she know?

My pastor’s message last Sunday included a reminder about Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was visited by an angel who said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.”

Confused she said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you and the child to be born will be holy; he will be called son of God. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to you word,”
Luke 1:26-38

So today we celebrate the birth of this Christ child who would suffer, but in the doing would provide for the forgiveness and redemption of people who choose to believe.

It could not have been easy for Mary to be unable to spare her son the suffering that was to come. Mothers feel the intensity of every hurt to their child and try to do everything to keep our children safe, no matter their age.

But what happens when sometimes we just can’t? Some things we don’t get to have a say in, or if it will happen or when it will happen.

Our children can fall down and skin their knee,fail to make the baseball team,are bullied or become ill. Mothers apply a bandage with a kiss, encourage them to find another team, to stand up to the bully and take care of them when they are sick. It is the same love, applied to each of these situations, that give us the strength when we can’t control what our children must face. It is also a good reminder of Mary’s willingness to serve God as she accepted the role of mother with great faith and love.

Regardless of what our children are faced with, our love for them and our faith that everything is possible with God is greater than that burden, and that is enough.