My wife and I have eight children on Earth and one who was called home before she was born. As such I can realistically talk about the feelings and concerns a husband goes through as he waits for his wife’s due date. Will my wife safely deliver? Will the child be healthy? Boy or girl? What does the future hold for my child and what can I do to protect, nurture and give them a boost in this world.
As a human the future is unknown to me. As an adult I realize my child will have successes and failures, good times and bad like we all do. The murkiness of the future is a bit scary and at the same time it is a gift. I would hate to be certain that my child would suffer a horrible end at some point in their life.
It is still the Christmas Season. Our tree is still up. We still turn on our outside Christmas lights at night. The Nativity set is present in our living room. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Angels, the Shepherds, the Magi and the animals all present in a beautiful scene that speaks of Peace and Joy!
Then it occurred to me, “How did God the Father feel during that first Christmas?” I don’t often hear people talk about God’s feelings. I know He got angry at the world and flooded it. I know He got angry at Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them. He was very pleased with Jesus at His Baptism and His Transfiguration. So we can safely say that God does have feelings. So what did He feel at the Incarnation?
Unlike me, the future is an open book to God. He knows precisely what will happen. The Father knew that thirty three years after the Incarnation His Son would be brutally tortured and killed. Thirty three years for God is an instant. Knowing that, did the Father have warm loving feelings during the Birth of Jesus or did He shudder at the impending sacrifice?
Thinking about questions like these helps me comprehend the depth of God’s love for me and for everyone. God is Love is not just some trite saying. God the Father walked the walk knowing the absolute price He and Jesus were going to pay for us. And they paid that price even for those who rejected the offer.
I still love to concentrate on the Peace and Joy of that first Christmas with the Angels singing their praises. But now I also realize the full meaning because God the Father knew what would soon follow. As a father myself I marvel at His sacrifice.