Angels and archangels may have gathered there, cherubim and seraphim thronged the air; but His mother only, in her maiden bliss, worshipped the Beloved with a kiss. (“In the Bleak Midwinter”)
This is a tender stanza from a beautiful carol.
Probably the first thing every mother does when she is handed her baby for the first time is to give the newly arrived little one a gentle kiss.
Mary kissed her infant son—the first Christmas kiss! For her, the pain of a long, grueling ride astride a donkey while heavy with child faded away. The discomfort of finding no real shelter that night was forgotten. Even the pain of giving birth subsided. A kiss welcomed our Savior. A kiss welcomed the solution to the pain and hopelessness suffered by our world desperately in need of a Savior.
Mary’s kiss was not only given to her tiny Son, but it was also a kiss for all those He came to save. As she kissed her baby, she kissed the One who was born to die for all mankind.
The young mother who kissed her Son’s tiny, innocent hands and feet would—one dark day—kiss her adult Son’s innocent, nail-pierced hands and feet. The pain that had so quickly faded in the manger would now pierce Mary’s tender mother-heart with searing agony . Her beautiful Son took upon Himself every mother’s desperation; every father’s dark hopelessness; every child’s midnight terror. Our Savior suffered so we could truly be offered the kiss of salvation; and He rose again in triumph over everything that stands against the Father’s astonishing purity and love.
Each new day we are kissed with God’s mercies, because they are new every morning. This Christmas season may we receive the kisses of our Savior who gave the greatest gift mankind could ever receive: salvation by grace.