Whether Jesus was actually born on the 25th of December or not, Christmas is a wonderful Christian holiday that reminds us of the coming of Christ to this earth, taking on the form of a human being (to paraphrase Paul’s words in Philippians 2:9-10). For the most part I imagine Jesus as an adult, walking the dusty roads of Galilee and Judea, teaching, healing, being arrested and dying a cruel death on the cross. Once a year, as in the recent past, my attention turns to Bethlehem and the birth scene – scenes heavily influenced by the Christmas pictures of little angels, lights, cute shepherds and wise men. A kind-of “clean” picture of Jesus born with a halo shining around his head – all of which make it difficult to really think of Jesus as a “helpless babe” (words borrowed from a well-known worship song by Graham Kendrick, “Servant King”).
So, when for a few weeks we visited our children Pierre and Gemma, who had their first baby, little Zachary, born on the 4th December, it kind-of forced me to look at this helpless baby and think about Jesus in different terms. As grandparents we went to meet little Zac, support his parents, to help out where we can in the short visit with them. Zac, completely helpless on his own, is fully dependent on his parents to feed him, clothe him, care for him. He sure made his presence felt by crying, smiling, pooing, vomiting, and generally dominating the house! That’s our little grandson, Zac!
But … that was also little baby Jesus. Born in messy blood, crying aloud to let his parents know he was alive and arrived safely, pooing, peeing, vomiting. And I can imagine Mary taking him in her arms, feeding him, Joseph taking over when Mary was too tired and needed some sleep, the two of them bathing the baby Jesus, wrapping him in cloths, later clothing him in baby clothes. Just a normal, human baby, fully dependent on being cared for by his parents. That is our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
And that is also our God! How amazing that the God of the universe, the holy and awesome God, would come to earth to live with us, to speak to us in human language that we can understand, to die in our place to give us freedom from sin and acceptance into His family.
Just like we are proud grandparents of our children’s children and do not mind bragging about them, in the same way we can be the proud children of God our Saviour. That’s our God!