Unto Us a Child is Born… 

‘Unto us a child is born…’ (Isaiah 9:6) Such a beautiful, inspiring verse. What does this verse mean for those who are childless? 

‘Unto us a child is born…’ It’s a bold anthem of hope for the people of the world, that Christ our Saviour has come to us. 

‘Unto us a child is born…’ It echoes up and down the corridors of history, declaring peace and goodwill to all peoples. 

‘Unto us a child is born…’ There is joy there, but also a sense of impending doom, the sadness and grief and devastation of the coming crucifixion; an inevitable conclusion to the miraculous birth. 

‘Unto us a child is born…’ He was born to die, born to be resurrected, born to bring new life to everyone who believes. 

‘Unto us a child…’ Jesus’ birth is the promise of new life to each one of us, his childhood a kernel of hope in the graveyards of our hearts, threatening to break out again into something beautiful. 

‘Unto us a child…’ But how does it feel to be childless at Christmas? There is the agony of empty chairs around the table, the void under the Christmas tree, the places in our homes and hearts where our children were supposed to take up residence. 

‘Unto us…’ And Jesus steps into that void, plants a seed in the fallow soil, and promises to make all things new. 

‘Unto us…’ For parent and childless alike, grieving and joyful alike, bitter and hopeful alike. Christ comes to all of us. 

Thank you, Father, for sending your son to be everything we could not be: a child, a growing human who was God in every way, a Saviour for the whole world. Thank you for birthing something in us that will never die: the living water of the Spirit, Christ in us, hope everlasting. 

Do you struggle with being childless at Christmas? How does your faith help you through this difficult time? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation. 

But wait, there’s more: Today’s blog is brought to you by an Omega Christian Writers synchroblog! That means we post each other’s blog links in our blogs so you can read more of the Christmassy good stuff. Tap the titles to follow the links to my writer friends’ blogs:

Tis the Christmas episode season by Nola Passmore

Keeping the wonder by Dienece Darling

What does Christmas represent for me by Virginia Wright (currently experiencing technical issues)

God’s presence in the ordinary by Susan Barnes

8 thoughts on “Unto Us a Child is Born… 

  1. Thanks Steph, for showing these thoughts based on the verse in Isaiah. It’s always amazing to me that God would come as helpless baby to an obscure couple, in a Roman backwater. God’s willingness to identify with us is remarkable.

  2. Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Steph. Christmas can be a tricky time for childless people, as there is a lot of focus on children (e.g., Santa, toys, Sunday School nativity plays etc). But as you say, Jesus can reach in and comfort us in those times. He is the child who came to be our Saviour. It’s also helpful to think of Christmas with childlike wonder, and remember all He has done for us. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Nola, apologies for the technical issues, and thanks for reposting! I totally agree, Christmas is a time filled with distractions – not necessarily a bad thing in itself – but it can help to simplify and refocus on Jesus, with all the wonder of a child. Thank you.

  3. Thanks for a thoughtful post, Steph. Christmas can be a tricky time for childless people, as many celebrations are child-centred, with Sunday School plays, Santa, Christmas movies and TV shows aimed at kids, and lots of other things. But as you say, Christ can come into those situations and provide comfort, as he came for all.

    It’s probably just as hard, or harder, for families in which there is estrangement, abuse or bereavement. It’s a good time to remember that Christmas can be difficult for many people for a number of reasons, and it’s good to be sensitive to the needs of others. But regardless of whether we have children or not, it’s a time when we would do well to come as a child and experience the wonder of what Christ has done for us. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Nola, Christmas is certainly tricky for many people, for a whole host of reasons. Being mindful of others goes a long way – and, as you say, coming like a child full of wonder helps to keep Jesus front and centre!

  4. Thank you, Steph. I enjoyed this in depth look at a phrase I’ve heard so much in my life but never considered from the aspect of those suffering without a child. Christmas can be so beautiful but also a hard time of year for many. Thanks for directing our thoughts to be aware of others, but also to help us remember the joy, the Reason for Christmas so that anyone suffering can find hope.

    • Hi Dienece, yes it can be a difficult time (for many reasons), so I thought I’d take a childless perspective on it. And you’re right, even in the grief and suffering, Christ is present – and where there’s Christ, there’s hope. Take care x

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