How Did God Feel That First Christmas?

Yesterday was Sunday, December 25th, 2016, Christmas Day and it certainly was a happy, wonderful and blessed one!
Amidst all of the present exchanging, dining on delicious food, seeing a GREAT movie (“Sing”) and having fun with family and friends, my husband, Josh, and I took time with our children to honor Christ Jesus and His birthday in our home. We know that the real date for Christ’s birth was not on December 25th, but we are happy and thankful to have a day that the world recognizes and honors together as a day to remember His birth. It was important for us to have a time together of prayer and thanksgiving to our Lord God for sending His Son to us, and also to our precious Jesus for coming.
The time right now is 2:42am and although I am exhausted from the festivities of the day, I cannot rest my mind until I write what has been in stirring in my heart. You see, when Josh prayed with us today, he said something that caught my attention in a way like it never did before. He said, “God, we thank you for loving us so much that you sent Your only son to us. That had to have been so hard for You to do, knowing what was going to happen to Him and so we thank you for loving us so much.”
Now don’t misunderstand me, I was raised in church my entire life. I came to give my heart to Jesus when I was seven years old at a youth camp in Prescott, Arizona and have tried to serve and represnt Him ever since. I know what the Bible says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believed in Him would not perish but have eternal life.” I believe every word of that to be true and always have. Not only do I believe it, but I share that message to everyone I can. I write about it, sing about it, direct musicals that proclaim it; I have dedicated my life to spreading that message to the world.  A few years ago, I even wrote a children’s book/musical called “Heaven’s First Christmas” which is the story of Christ’s birth from the angels point of view and how they learned about the Plan of Salvation that Jesus would fulfill for His Heavenly Father and become the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. Still, I had always thought about Christmas as the time of joy and celebrating, not a time of sorrow. I always thought about that mainly at Easter when we honored Jesus giving His life as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and then celebrated again over His resurrection when He conquered death and the grave forever. I had always thought about how great God’s love for me was, that He would freely send His son to die for me, but when I thought about Christmas, my mind was usually more focused upon the holiness of the night and the love, joy, peace and hope that the baby Jesus brought to the world. Those things are all bright and happy, not difficult and sad.
I have dreamed hundreds of times about what it was like to be one of the shepherds that saw and heard the angels singing “Glory to God in the highest! And on earth, peace! Good will toward men!” I wondered about the Wise men who came to provide divine gifts for the baby Jesus, bringing gold to provide for his life and oils for both his ministry and his death. I have also spent countless hours visualizing what the magnificent star that marked His birthplace looked like.  I have imagined what it was like to be Mary and be told by an angel that she would become pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit and bring forth the Savior of the world, The Messiah, that His name would be called Jesus and His love would be for all people, of every age, financial status, race, creed and gender.
When I thought about these things, I always thought about the great love our God had for us to give us His Son, but I always thought about these things from my point of view as the receiver of God’s Greatest Gift. When I heard Josh pray that prayer on Christmas Day, it got me to thinking about Christmas through the heart of God.
How did God feel that first Christmas?
When the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was going to have a baby and that His name was to be Jesus, that meant Jesus had already left His rightful place at His Holy Father’s right hand in heaven, was coming to earth to begin developing as a human within her body. Both God and Jesus knew His coming to earth was to die for the sins of all mankind, that was the Plan of Salvation. There was no secret about that; Jesus knew it all along and loved us enough to do it. After hearing Josh pray, my mind now began to think, not as the receiver of the gift, but as the giver. I put myself in God’s shoes as the parent of an only son and I began to think about my only son, Samuel, our little boy that we love and cherish beyond words.
I wondered how it would feel to look into his beautiful eyes, and ask him to take on such a task. How would I look into his eyes to say good bye to him and watch him leave me to go a place where some would love Him and some would hate and despise him? I began to think about the request of asking him to die for all people of all time, for those who would love him, as well as for those who despised and hated him, and for those who may not ever get to know who he was. I thought about my precious son, courageously accepting my plan and sharing the same powerful love for others so strongly in his heart that he would accept the unbelievably difficult quest before him. My mind then went to the way he would die too, knowing it would not be just any kind of quick or painless death, but a horrifically torturous and gruesome death  with tremendous suffering and unfathomable pain. All of this with the knowledge that he was going to fulfill a plan that was all my idea.
When I thought about these things from a parent’s point of view, even with having the promise of knowing that my son would live again after three days of his death and have gained victory for all mankind, still, a dark, heavy, agonizing sorrow spread althrough my heart. I cannot possibly understand how God really felt, still, with the tremendous love I have for my only son, I can come close to imagining it and how I felt when I just imagined it was horrible.
I couldn’t do it.
There is no possible way that I could love others enough to sacrifice my son for them, especially knowing so many would still hate and reject him. If I am being totally honest, there is no possible way I could ever bring myself to do that.
Thank heavens I am not God and thank God that He IS.
I had always thought about God’s heart being broken when Jesus was being beaten, scouraged and crucified, but I had never really thought about it being broken at Christmastime when Gabriel was speaking to Mary. So while I used to think upon nothing but the joy of Christmas, now I will also remember the heart of our awesome and mighty God and how He must have felt at the moment He parted with His beloved Son and sent Him on the journey to save us. I am sure He was proud beyond measure, and also filled with deep sorrow to watch His only Son depart from His presence.
Of course I can only measure and compare these kinds of feelings by how a human feels and knows them as I am not like God. I have never truly understood how God could love us that much– though I believe it with all my heart, my human mind just can’t quite comprehend how He does it. Now that I have gained this new perspective on it from a parent’s point of view, it makes it even harder to comprehend, but I know His love is real and I know His Word is truth. I know that by asking Jesus into my heart and professing with my mouth that He is my Lord and Savior, I have the promise of ever lasting life in heaven and someday, when I get there, I will be like Christ and hopefully I will be able to understand it better by and by. Right now, I am just saturated and overwhelmed with gratitude, for I know I don’t deserve it. None of us do, yet, God gave that incredible selfless love to us freely so many years ago and His love endures daily, for now and forever.
Next year, when Christmastime comes around again, I will still focus on spreading the message of love, peace, joy and hope that Jesus brought us, but I will also remember the agony that came with it, when a God who loves beyond all that I could possibly understand or imagine, so freely sent us His Son, who in turn loved us all enough to give us His life that whosoever believed in Him, would never die but live forever!
For that, I am more thankful than words can express!