Christmas at the Grotto

the grotto
Image by errrrrrrrrika via Flickr

Last night as a family Christmas present, my mother in law took us to Burgerville (hazelnut shakes nom nom nom) and then to the Grotto, a Catholic shrine dedicated to Mary that features a large Christmas display every year – lights, actors, singing, concerts, etc.

It’s great. I’m not a Catholic (although I have been investigating Catholicism – seriously) but it’s so reverent and holy there. Even the kids were quiet as we listened to the Christmas story, watched the candles flicker, and quietly paid homage to this strangest yet holiest of stories.

I’ve been struck this year by how odd it was for God to come as a baby. Babies are so helpless, yet so utterly charming and kissable. Even when they keep you up all night screaming, you still can’t help but snuggle their baby chub and hug them close. And Jesus was a baby – Mary had to know that he was God, right there in her arms, yet still….that tummy wasn’t going to kiss itself. There’s nothing in the Bible that says Mary didn’t mother Jesus like he was a regular baby (if there is any such thing as a “regular” baby, that is!). It makes me smile to think of it.

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