“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” (Luke 1:42-45)
Last night my husband and I attended the annual Christmas “Thank you” banquet for volunteers of the Whatcom County Pregnancy Clinic.
Near the end of the get-together—which was filled with games, good eats, and goodies—the staff stood up in a line and held up 8 X 11 pieces of paper, each with one letter of the word: S-E-R-V-A-N-T. One by one, the staff described aspects of the nature of servanthood. For example, “e” would include encouragement, enabling, educating, efficient, and eager, etc. All words that we volunteers demonstrate in the carrying out of our work with clients.
I felt humbled by these words of thanks, especially since I’ve only recently begun to work with clients. There are ladies (and some gentlemen, too) who have been volunteering at the Clinic for many years and have amazing stories about how God works His grace and power into the lives of clients.
I came home thinking about the people who have poured God’s love into my own life through the years. I’m sure most of them have no idea the fruit their kind words and actions have seeded in me.
When I asked Jesus to come into my life, I had no idea He would bless me. I only wanted relief from the misery of being detached from Him. That was all I had envisioned. I didn’t realize that my plea to God would be the start of a wonderful, rich, joy-filled adventure. God had way higher expectations for my life than I did.
I think, no, I know this is true for the clients who walk into Whatcom County Pregnancy Clinic’s doors. They only think this visit will yield an answer: “Am I pregnant? If I am, what will I do, where will I go, who will help me decide to abort or to carry this baby?”
These young women have no idea that this first or second or third visit might be their opportunity to meet God and find the answers to life’s ultimate questions: “God, are You there? Do you care about me? Can I know You? How can my life have meaning?”
I pray that our clients link the advent of their babies to the Advent of the Child. That Jesus, the Son of God, was born of a woman for the salvation of other women’s babies. Surely if God would give His only Son, He must find each of us humans indescribably precious, the born and the not-yet-born humans.
Christmas is a time of celebrating Jesus’s birth. Of recognizing that God’s promise of a Savior has been fulfilled.
Christmas is also a time of recognizing that all life is precious. The crying of each baby at birth promises a life of God-imaged expression. Isn’t that what all women desire for their children?
“O hearken ye who would believe, the gracious tidings now receive: Gloria, gloria in excess Deo.
For at His cradle you shall find God’s healing grace for all mankind: Gloria, gloria in excess Deo.” (O Hearken Ye, by Hutson, Burt)