The Christmas kick

Published 5:20 pm Friday, December 20, 2019

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By Nathan Decker

It all changed when she felt the kick. She was confident when the angel had visited her.

“Do not be afraid” the angel had said.

And like all who are called, she had that determined first excitement and passion.

“I am the Lord’s servant, let it be with me as you have said.” Mary said.

Then she felt the kick. This is really happening. I’m really going to be an unwed mother. What if Joseph changes his mind and leaves? What if my parents won’t take me back? God, how will I raise your son on the streets? Within her worrying heart, the world with all its wilderness surrounded her in a whirlwind.

And we know what that’s like. Most of us are unrepentant control freaks. We’re fine as long as not too many unexpecteds come at once. But our world is full of unexpecteds. When loss, fear, loneliness, abuse and abandonment come we fall apart. Mary knew what that was like.

Mary has no control over where her life is heading. Joseph would decide if he was still going to marry her. Her family would decide if they still would claim her as a daughter. Her hometown would decide whether to throw her a baby shower or throw stones at her, judging her as an unfaithful woman. We forget exactly how scary this moment was for her.

But it all changed when she felt the kick. Perhaps the fear and the wilderness of worry was why Mary chose to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth, much older than Mary, was expecting her firstborn as well under similarly mysterious circumstances. Elizabeth also needed help, especially since her preacher husband had suddenly lost his voice. Mary rushes to the Judean highlands and it all changed when she felt it.

Rushing to greet her cousin, Elizabeth wrapped her arms around Mary. In the midst of the embrace … within the womb … movement … A kick… .

Elizabeth exclaims: “God has blessed you above all women, and he has blessed the child you carry. Why do I have this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her.”

It all changed when she felt the kick. Mary sees it all differently, and she sings the praise song: Magnificat. “In my very depth I rejoice … God is my Savior. He shows mercy on everyone. God scatters the proud, pulls down the powerful, lifts up the lowly, fills the hungry. God has come to rescue us all.”

The kick reminds Mary that Christmas is about hope.

Hope … hope for a nation where foreign powers are interfering. Hope for a people who have experienced so much loss and pain. Hope for a city where poverty, illness and drug abuse continue to climb. Hope for an unwed pregnant teenager named Mary. It all changed when she felt the kick.

Have you felt the kick? Have you experienced the joy of forgiveness? Have you been embraced with love and felt hope kicking from within? Christmas is about hope. Christmas is about love. Christmas is about joy and peace. Christmas is about the world feeling the kick of the Savior within. This week, experience the joy, peace, love and hope of the Christmas kick.

After all, it’s the present Jesus gives to each of us.

This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”

– Luke 2:12