There is truly something miraculous about holding a newborn baby, especially when that baby belongs to your family.
Wells Denison was born last week, and he is already loved and adored by his family. He came into this world weighing in at eight pounds, twelve ounces and is twenty-one inches long.
The Denisons are feeling very blessed this Christmas season.
The First Christmas Baby
My thoughts naturally go to that cave in Bethlehem where our Lord was born. How much did Jesus weigh when he was born? Did he cry at his first breath too?
The person who wrote “Away in the Manger” and said “no crying he makes” wasn’t there. I’m sure Jesus spent some time crying because that is what healthy babies do. Crying isn’t a “sin,” so I have a feeling Jesus kept his parents up at night as well.
I write an Advent book each year, and I always have unanswered questions about the birth of Christ. The biggest question each year is always, “Why did God choose to enter our world as a baby?”
The best theological answer to that question is found in Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Jesus came into this world as a baby because we do. Jesus came to live an entirely human life so that he could die for every sin.
Even though I know that is the theology of the Advent, I still wonder why. God didn’t have to save us that way. He is the Creator of all things and has the power to accomplish our salvation any way he chooses. Why send our Messiah to the world as an infant?
Even as I ask the question, I sense his answer.
A Glimpse of Easter at Christmas
As I held my new grandson, Wells, I held a glimpse of God’s perfect will for our lives. The only thing Wells needs is to be loved and cared for. He is completely dependent on others to care for him. Without his mom and dad, he wouldn’t have life. Without our heavenly Father and his plan for our salvation, we wouldn’t have life either.
The baby in the manger would grow up to become the sinless man, able to take away the sins of the world. He grew up like all of us, tempted in every respect as we are, yet remained without sin. Jesus would one day tell a Pharisee named Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
As I held Wells, I was reminded of what “born again” means.
When God saved our souls through Jesus, we were reborn in his eyes. We became like a newly born, innocent, perfect baby: without sin. We are completely dependent on our “Parent” for our salvation. We would die eternally without Jesus. A Christmas baby would become an Easter sacrifice because he was always a “sinless lamb.”
Wells will be two one day and throw a toy in anger. (Hopefully not at his brother!) Wells will make his choices, both good and bad, and I am already praying for the moment he understands that he will need to choose to be “born again.” Our Christmas baby will need to find salvation in the only perfect Christmas baby ever born.
But, for now, Grandma is going to join hearts with Mary, as she held her perfect baby.
There are moments in life a person will “ponder” forever.
There is a lifetime of potential that we cradle in our arms and hold in our hearts and minds. There will be first steps, first words, and other milestones. My prayer is there will be declarations of faith, baptisms, moments of divine calling, and the work of the ministry for each of my grandchildren.
This Christmas I will hold my newborn grandson and think about what Mary pondered in her heart. All babies are miracles, but she knew hers was also a Messiah. She just couldn’t know what that would ultimately mean for her and each of us.
Spend a few moments this Christmas “cradling” the infant Messiah in your arms. He is the only child born who lived every day of his life with holy perfection. That Christmas baby is the sinless lamb who perfected each of us for heaven.
All babies are miracles, but only Jesus is our infant Messiah.