Advent for Moms: We Gaze in Wonder at Jesus

You and I shop online and place our orders, and then we stay awake (often far too late) decorating, filling stockings, and wrapping packages in shiny paper. Finally, on Christmas morning, we search our children’s faces eagerly. Hoping to catch “that look,” the one we’ve worked so hard for, we watch for the moment when their eyes fill with wonder at a tree covered with twinkling lights and surrounded by presents. 

Just as we long to inspire wonder in our children, our heavenly Father invites us to wonder at the gift of his Son. But sometimes, in our efforts to create a perfect Christmas for our families, we exhaust ourselves and leave little room for reflection. 

Sisters, the Advent season provides a rich opportunity to refocus our hearts on our Savior. Let’s not miss this moment to wonder at Jesus.

Wonder at Jesus’ Humility

Though he was God, Jesus humbled himself when he entered our world and our story. He set aside his throne and “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). With his tiny fingers and toes, crying for his mother’s milk, Jesus was “born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7):

Jesus hungered like us. Mark 11:12 says, “He was hungry.” When we forget to eat breakfast in the scramble to feed our children and get them dressed and ready for school in the morning, we can remember that Jesus experienced the same stomach pangs that we do.

He grew weary like us. “Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well” (John 4:6). Jesus knows our need to sit and rest our bodies, think our own thoughts for a few minutes, and then get up to serve all over again.

And like us, he tasted sorrow. Jesus wept over the death of his friend Lazarus.[1] “Acquainted with grief,” he understands the pain we feel when we miscarry a baby or our children receive unwanted diagnoses (Isa. 53:3).

Our Lord doesn’t condemn us when we feel hungry, weary, or sorrowful; instead, he sympathizes with us in our weaknesses.[2] He is “gentle and lowly,” welcoming us to come to him to find rest for our souls (Matt. 11:29). And he tells us that his “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Our Lord drew near, walked in skin, wore our human experience, and sympathizes with us. But although he became like us, Jesus was different from us in a significant way.

Wonder at Jesus’ Obedience

One of the great mysteries of the Christian faith is that even while fully human, Jesus remained fully God. The author of Hebrews tells us that as God, “in every respect” Jesus was “tempted as we are, yet without sin” (4:15): 

We marvel that Jesus hungered like us, yet without sin. He was never “hangry,” becoming irritable because he craved food. He never over-indulged or starved himself for vanity. 

We hope in our Lord who grew weary like us, yet without sin. For him, weariness was never an excuse to raise his voice or speak harshly. He rested, but he resisted laziness.

We trust in Jesus who tasted sorrow, yet without sin. Even in trials, he rested in his Father’s love and sovereignty without wavering.

And we rejoice because, rather than condemning us when we sin in our weakness, Jesus lived a perfect life among us “in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). If Jesus had sinned in any way, he would not have been qualified to be our atoning sacrifice. Instead he was perfectly obedient to his heavenly Father “to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). 

Jesus’ obedience to his Father led him to the cross and made our salvation possible. Because Jesus not only came but also lived a sinless life, sinful moms like us can come to him. This is wonderfully good news!

Wonder at Jesus’ Exaltation

The incarnation is a celebration of Immanuel, God with us.[3] But the story continues. Because Jesus humbled himself and was obedient to death, “God highly exalted him…so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-10). 

This Advent season, these verses call us to bow low to Jesus:

There is no other god who humbled himself and became like his people. Only Jesus. As we humbly serve our children by washing bottles and scrubbing behind the ears, we can remember and worship our Savior who humbled himself for us. 

There is only one who perfectly obeys his Father.[4] Only Jesus. Each time we speak impatiently to our children and run to Jesus for forgiveness, we glorify the One who made reconciliation possible through his perfect obedience.

Only one is highly exalted. Only Jesus. When we slow down in the middle of the busy holiday season and take time to reflect on him, we declare that he is our greatest treasure.

God invites us to gaze in wide-eyed wonder at the only one who is worthy of our worship, Jesus Christ our Lord. We don’t have to wait for some future day. We can adore him right now, in the middle of motherhood with all its particular joys and challenges. We worship him for becoming like us and making a way for us to become like him. 

And we do it all to the glory of God, our watching heavenly Father, who loves for us to find our greatest joy and satisfaction in the gift of his Son. 

[1] John 11:35

[2] Hebrews 4:15

[3] Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23

[4] Romans 3:23

This article first appeared on Risen Motherhood.