Luke 2:7 – She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom. (CEB)
Jesus was swaddled. As a parent, I learned the importance of swaddling. A newborn has been snugly protected in the womb for nine months. For the first few weeks after they are born, babies love to be wrapped up nice and tight in their blankets as it gives them the same comfort they felt in the womb. It took me a while to learn just how tight to wrap the blanket, but I had lots of practice with four beautiful children.
In Luke’s birth account, Mary wrapped up the baby Jesus “snugly.” She swaddled him. Something Jesus could not do on his own. The Lord of lords and King of kings, the one through whom the Father created the entire universe, humbled himself to being swaddled by his mommy. When the humble aspects of Jesus’ birth are mentioned, it’s usually about the setting in an animal’s manger. But the humility of our Lord includes being fed, swaddled, diapered, and rocked to sleep by Mary and Joseph. This is part of the humility that God took on himself to be one with us, to be fully human.
To be counter-cultural during the busy holiday season, perhaps we can image to the world the humility of our Lord. During Advent, it is possible to slow down, to stop and humble ourselves by recognizing that we are completely reliant on God. Just as the baby Jesus was completely reliant on his human parents, we are completely reliant on our Father for his abundant life that he promises.
During this Advent season, let’s sink into God the Father’s arms. Let’s allow ourselves to be swaddled by God. And let’s be grateful for the humility that our Lord Jesus embraced for us.
Prayer: Loving Father, you swaddle us, you hold us, you rock us to sleep, you feed us; you are our shelter in sunshine and storm. Thank you for your abundant provision. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for sending your Son so that we might participate in his Sonship. We give you honor, praise, and glory in the Lord Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.