Well, it’s Christmas Eve!!!! While tomorrow, Christmas Day, officially marks the end of Advent, the final candle of the Advent wreath is traditionally lit on Christmas Eve. This candle, the Christ candle, is the biggest of the five candles and is white, representing the purity of Christ, Whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. He came as a true human, while retaining every bit of His full divinity. He alone lived a perfect, sinless life, that He might become our pure sacrificial Lamb through His death on the cross. His death pronounced our salvation from sin; His resurrection three days later announced His victory over death. Now, those who have faith in Him and what He has done for us are freed from sin and have eternal life in Him. This is the true meaning of Christmas! May we never cease to wonder at what God has done for us.
Soft light beamed gently through the shutters of the window, falling onto a patch of the floor. Little rays spread from that solitary spot, offering some slight illumination to the rest of the room. A small blanket rested against the wall, only partially within the light. The baby resting on top of it stirred, his tiny fists waving feebly in the air before returning to rest at his sides.
Miryam stared down at the baby, reaching out a hand to trail a finger down his face. He reacted to the touch, turning his head towards her hand. Miryam smiled. He had her nose. Was that blasphemy, to recognize her own features in the face of the very Son of El Elyon?
A shiver ran through her—partially from the chill early morning air, partially from the memory of the events of the day before. She had gone into labor within an hour after settling down for the night, giving birth shortly before midnight. Yosef had handed her some cloths; they’d probably been used before to swaddle a newborn lamb. She’d laid her own little lamb in the stone feeding trough. It was the best she could do for him. And he hadn’t seemed to mind. He’d gone to sleep soon after, slumbering through the startling arrival of a group of shepherds who claimed they’d been told of his birth by angels. They’d gazed in wonder at her child before dashing away. Miryam had heard them shouting of the news of the Messiah’s arrival as they ran through the streets.
That had awakened Yosef’s family, and his parents and his younger sister had come running down. The sight had astonished them. Yosef’s father’s face had filled with guilt as he looked down at the baby. He’d stammered an apology, insisting he hadn’t known how close she was to giving birth. Miryam doubted it would have made a difference. But it was all right. This little room set aside for the animals was far better than a cloak under the stars.
Now she and the baby were secreted in a corner of the family’s sleeping quarters. Yosef had gone out to buy provisions for them; his family were already beginning their morning chores. Miryam let out a slow exhale. So many people had been bustling around her for days. It was good to finally be alone, to stare at the child she had miraculously conceived and ponder again the greatness of Adonai.
All the signs proved that the impossible was not impossible. In accordance with the prophets, she had conceived while a virgin and given birth to a son, who had by a series of strange occurrences been born in Betlechem. No, the Messiah hadn’t come as she’d expected. All her life, she’d been told of a conquering warrior who would arrive in splendor and free Israel from their oppressors. This little child sleeping on the floor hardly fit that image. Yet this was how Adonai had chosen to send His Savior. According to prophecy, the child born of the virgin was to be named Immanuel. Miryam shivered again as she gazed at her son. Messiah—anointed one. Immanuel—Elohim with us. And Yeshua, the name given to both her and Yosef—savior.
Miryam cupped her hand around the baby’s little face. “Yeshua,” she whispered. “For he will save his people from their sins.”