Saturday, December 22, 2007

Who would send a baby?

The writer E.T. Sullivan once said: “When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.”

The birth of Jesus Christ is the most perfect example of this principle. His birth set in motion those events which would forever alter our relationship with God. And what a miracle that birth was! For just a moment, let us ponder some of the significant aspects of the Savior’s birth:

His birth was a gift of love from our Heavenly Father: “For God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Christ, who had created this earth and countless others, did not come as the creator he was, but as a helpless baby boy. Of all kings that have ever lived or ever will he was the most high, but no king was ever born in the humble circumstances that he faced. In this, He shows us that the circumstances of our birth have little to do with what we can accomplish in this life, and that out of small and simple things proceedeth that which is great.

His parents couldn’t find any lodging better than a stable, heralding the type of rejection He would face throughout His life.

Shepherds and Kings came to adore and honor him, symbolizing both the loving care he would have for all of us, and his role as King of Kings. Their visits also teach us that our stations in life are of no consequence when coming to the Savior. All that is required is a willing heart to go and find him.

A new star shone, celebrating this wonderful occasion and symbolizing the new light that had come into the world with the birth of the Savior.

In the western hemisphere there was a night, a day, and a night with no darkness, symbolizing that the light and life of the world had come.

One of my favorite Christmas images is of the angel announcing the birth of the Christ child to the shepherds.
“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:10-14

I imagine that, if I had been there that night, I would not have been able to contain my joy and would have joined those angels in their songs of praise.

During this special time of year, let us remember the many gifts that we have been given as a result of our Savior’s life and mission:

Peace in the midst of our afflictions.
Strength to bear life’s infirmities and deal with our losses and sorrows.
Trust, that He knows us and cares for us.
Hope for a wonderful and glorious life that can come to all of us.
Gratitude for the small and simple blessings that give us the assurance that we are not alone in this life, and that he will not leave us comfortless.
Joy in our redemption and in the knowledge that the way is open for us to return home to our Father in Heaven.
Love for our Father and for our Savior who first loved us.
Humility in the realization that, in spite of all our frailties and imperfections, He counted the cost of our redemption and still found us worth the price that He paid.
Faith that our experiences in life are for our good and will bring us closer to Him.
Charity for each other as we draw closer to Him and become more Christlike.

As Christians we are not following “cunningly devised fables.” Jesus Christ is real! And at some future day we will each become “eyewitnesses of His majesty and glory.” In the meantime, let us walk and grow in the light of our faith until that perfect day when we will know as we are known, will see as we are seen, and will witness for ourselves with a perfect surety that Jesus is the Christ.
God be thanked for the gift of His perfect Son, of whom I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.