As I read, “Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?” the mother in me thought, oh that poor baby, and that poor Mary! How I would love to be there to rock the baby Jesus, and let Mary sleep.
Whoso Shall Receive a Little ChildJanuary 17, 2014
My daughter Tillie and I love to watch movies about the Savior. Over a year ago we found these reenactments of the stories and teachings from the New Testament. They’ve been a treasure to watch and a way for me to teach her of the Savior’s life and my love for Him. Yesterday morning she saw me on my computer, and quickly ran over to me, put her hands up to be held and asked “movie Jesus?” So up she came into my arms as I found a video for us to share.
I came across one that we hadn’t watched before and clicked on it. The clip is taken from Matthew 25, where the Savior is sitting on a hillside, teaching the “multitude.” It is an often quoted part of the Savior’s teachings, where he says us that “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” teaching us that when we serve others we are serving him. He cites as examples that when we visit the sick, clothe the naked, or feed the hungry, it is as if we are visiting, clothing or feeding him. To be honest as I watched the clip I felt slightly dismissive, or maybe worse a little frustrated realizing how little I serve these days and what a poor job I’m doing of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the stranger, or visiting those in prison. Mostly my days are made up of dirty laundry, diapers and dishes. Not much that would seem to really qualify me for heaven!
I didn’t think much more about it throughout the day. Later that night after dinner, Tillie and I went upstairs to get her ready for bed. After a quick change into pajamas, Tillie picked out a few books to read. One was a little story book that tells about the birth of Jesus, and has Christmas songs mixed in with the story and pictures. Tillie has caught on that the pages with a music staff are songs, and when we come to one of those pages she asks me to sing.
As we came to What Child is This, she pointed and said, “song!” so I began to sing these words that I don’t know if I’ve ever paid attention to:
What Child is this, who laid to rest on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping.
Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?
No sooner had that thought come to my mind, then the little video Tillie and I had watched was brought back to my memory. When the Savior taught about the “least of these my brethren” surely he meant little children too? I can’t rock the baby Jesus, but I can and do rock and hold, feed and clothe, my children every day. Tears sprang to my eyes and a lump to my throat as I felt a heavenly assurance that the service I do as a mother is also service to Him.
Later that night as I was reflecting on the experience, this scripture came to mind, “And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”