“For there is born to you this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Newborns are a kind of law unto themselves. They are full of such promise and hope. They are a source of both great joy and of great tragedy. It is only the coldest of human hearts that is not reduced to nonsense syllables by the face of a baby. How my classmates would gush and coo over the little ones in the newborn nursery. As a father of teens at that time, I warned that babies tend to outgrow their cuteness after twelve or thirteen years.
Everybody seems to love Baby Jesus at Christmas time. And why not? The angels are singing in a star-studded sky. Shepherds gather to get a peek at the newborn baby in the manger. The feeling is all about peace, love, and good will toward men. Meanwhile, gifts are given and received.
This is as it should be. It is a celebration of God’s gift of a Savior who will restore the divine-human relationship born in Eden. Talk is of miracles, love, and healing.
Then, the Baby grows up.
Suddenly, He’s not so cute and cuddly, not so helpless, and not so quiet. He has begun to speak, and we don’t like what we hear. That angels attend Him, and miracles follow Him is no longer the joyous news it was. Now, He expects the worship the angels proclaimed was due Him.
“From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’.”
All the rest of His teaching—for which so many are glad to label Him a great moral teacher—is merely expansion and explanation of this message. An understanding of God begins with this message of the babe born in Bethlehem. His birth was not an end in itself. It was a beginning, an open door to an eternal relationship founded on peace, love, and spiritual healing.
The grown, mature Jesus is the door—the Way, the Truth, and the Life for every grown, mature heart that receives Him. He is still as meek and mild as the baby in the manger. It's just that coos, baby talk, and childish wishing won’t do anymore.