So it was that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7)
Newborn Babies Make Great Stories.
The anticipation of a newborn baby is one of the great moments in life. There is wonder in the months of pregnancy with all of the changes taking place. The first little bump that shows, feeling the baby move, wanting pickles and ice cream at 2am, trying to explain to a man … well never mind. Then the day of birth draws near and everything changes. Preparing for delivery is filled with dread and wonder and uncertainty and laughter and the baby is born. A cry is heard. The warmth of the mother’s body gives reassurance. Finally the cord is broken and the child lives on its own. The father stares with star struck eyes at the little man peering out from the swaddling clothes. Soft tears fill the eyes of the mother. Joseph and Mary have borne the Son of God into the world.
It is difficult to prepare for the birth of any child but how do you prepare for the birth of God’s Son? Joseph and Mary knew what they held in their hands was conceived by the Holy Spirit. They were tasked with nurturing this little baby into adulthood. It would be upon their shoulders to care for this little baby. He would be fed and bathed. His diaper would need to be changed. They would play games and sing songs from the stories of Moses. He would learn His first words from them. His little feet would take their first steps. The early days were filled with life in Egypt and then to Nazareth. As a little boy the son of God would laugh and play with his brothers and sisters. Mary would comb His hair. Joseph would teach Jesus how to use a hammer. A little boy was born in a manger to die on a cross.
The newborn baby worshiped by the shepherds that night would change the world. From a humble birth the Son of God would be exalted to the right hand of God. It all began in the city of Bethlehem that redemption would find its story in a newborn baby and today you and I share in the blessing of His life. Tomorrow we go to worship and give honor to Jesus Christ. Remember that He came first as a little child so that we could be children of His Father. His birth ushered in our new birth. He came into the world so that we could live with Him in eternity. Now that is a great story.
The influence of His life, His words, and His death, have, from the first, been like leaven cast into the mass of humanity. (Cunningham Geikie, ‘The Life and Words of Christ’ 1877)