At this time of the year we celebrate the birth of someone who was born over 2,000 years ago. What child is this who, laid to rest on Mary’s lap, is sleeping? This, this, is Christ the king, the babe, the son of Mary.
Jesus is God’s gift to us. How silently, how silently the wonderous gift is given. So God imparts to human hearts the blessing of his heaven. Jesus came, not wrapped in royal robes or adorned with servants who waited on his every need but he came wrapped in ordinary swaddling clothes, totally dependent on just what his mother and father alone could provide for him.
Later, as an adult, there was an incident where they came with infants for him to touch, however when his disciples saw it they rebuked them and were going to send them away but Jesus said unto his disciples, “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Why did Jesus say that the kingdom of heaven is made up of beings who are like little children?
Have you ever watched a parent care for their baby? They pick up the child with loving hands and tenderly cradle them in their arms. When the child is hungry they feed them. When the child is cold they wrap them in a warm blanket and they go to great lengths to dress them in the cutest outfits.
When the child is colicky or is not feeling well the parent will put the child on their shoulder and pat their backs to comfort them. And when the child is sleepy and cranky, they cradle the baby in their arms and rock them until they are sleeping peacefully. Parents are even willing to change their child’s stinky, messy diapers and clean them up, so they feel better again.
God is our father and he longs to hold us in his arms and he delights in caring for all of our needs, and it is those who are willing to let him do that who he invites into his kingdom. And because of his great love for us he sent his only Begotten Son, as a gift, to save us from our sins.
When Jesus was still a child, three wise men came and offered him gifts; very expensive gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh. If we are invited to a birthday party, it is customary to bring the birthday child a gift. At this time of the year as we are invited to celebrate the birth of God’s Son, what gift can we bring him? There is one gift that he wants more than any other but that he cannot have unless we are willing to offer it to him. What he wants more than anything else is for us to become born to him.
Because of the tender mercies he has for us, he wants to wrap us in the warmth of his love. He wants to feed us the bread of life. He wants to clothe us with the robes of righteousness. And when we are troubled, and our hearts are full of worry and doubt, and our soul cries out in pain for help, he wants to take us to his bosom and comfort us. And when we are feeling tired and weary from the cares and labors of this world, he wants to cradle us in his arms where we can rest peacefully, feeling safe and secure.
And yes, he is even willing to take care of the stinky messes we sometimes get ourselves into and wipe away all of our ugly sins so we feel clean again and feel good about ourselves. In short, what Jesus wants is to care for our every need just as a parent does with their child.
At this Christmas time may we give Christ the greatest gift we could possibly offer him. May we become like a little child, meek, humble, patient; willing to submit ourselves to everything he asks of us. As we celebrate the birth of the babe of Bethlehem, may we commit to becoming a babe in Christ.
See a related article at “The Story of Christmas”