I've had a lot of fragmented thoughts running through my head for several days that I wanted to write down. Hopefully the pieces fall on the page in some sort of understandable order.
Little joys. I've been thinking about that term, that idea for quite a while lately. It manifests itself in so many ways in our lives right now. The obvious ones: Will, David, Marcie, Seth, and Grace. Isaac. The not-so-obvious little joys (to those not in our house with the babies): a finished bottle, a great baby-burp, a full night's sleep or a restful day due to an army of volunteers, a quiet nursery, a house filled with baby sounds (from both ends), a full stinky diaper. Yes, especially early on, we really celebrated when evidence of a healthy digestive tract was demonstrated by each child.
We're celebrating our babies and baby-ish things in this household (I admit, there are times when I just hold my head in frustration and think about crying). These babies are sure giving me a more intimate and raw perspective of the Christ story. The almighty God of this world bent so low as to incarnate Himself in the body of a tiny, helpless baby like one of my three little boys. What? Why? They can't talk! They can't really do anything without our help!
Oh, the strange and awesome wisdom of our Lord. This Jesus experienced a full life just as we each do. He knows firsthand a stubbed toe, an incredible sunset, the joy of family, the smell of baked bread, the painful loss of a friend. He knows temptation to sin.
How amazing and humbling to know that He lived His whole life without sin, yet was tempted just as any of us. Can you imagine how incredibly hard it would be to successfully resist every time you are tempted to sin? Sinning is easy-- resisting temptation, that's when things get tough. Jesus had a tough life.
This baby, this Jesus, to give His Father glory, lived perfectly to be the only sufficient sacrifice for sin. He died a cruel death AND ROSE FROM THE DEAD to pay for the sins of those who believe in Him alone for their salvation.
He was a little joy in a manger, but the joy he brought that night is unimaginable. The greatest joy the world can know. Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Shepherds, why this jubilee? GOD IS WITH US!
He came. He lived. He died. He lives! Let us embrace the truth of our salvation and live to give God glory for what He has done!
My more recent favorite Christmas song is Bebo Norman's "Born to Die." It is a beautiful song worth having in your collection (his whole Christmas album is very good, along with his other music, too). It speaks of the angels rapt in wonder as they see the King of Heaven choose to be born as a baby to die. Here are the lyrics:
They never knew a dark night always had the Son's light on their face Perfect in glory Broken by the story of untold grace... come that day Majesty had come down Glory had succumbed now to flesh and bone In the arms of a manger In the hands of strangers that could not know Just who they hold Chorus: And the angels filled the sky All of heaven wondered why Why their King would choose to be Be a baby born to die And all fell silent For the cry of an infant, the voice of God Was dividing history For those with eyes to see, the Son would shine From earth that nightChorus: All the Angels filled the sky And I can't help but wonder why Why this King would choose to be Be a baby born for me Be a baby bornBe a baby born to die Bridge: To break the chains Of guilt and sin To find us here To pull us in So we can join in Heaven's song And with one voice around the throne Chorus: All the Angels filled the sky And I can't help but wonder why Why this King would choose to be Be a baby born for me Be a baby born Be a baby born to die
As a father of six (SIX!?) children, the reality of what our Great God has done for us is hitting
me deeper and deeper. The pain of losing a child has to be incredible-- unspeakable. I have been reflecting on the events in Connecticut over the last few days. Unspeakable. I think of what I would say to the mothers and fathers of the victims. I don't think there is anything TO say that would help. I can only picture myself hugging them, crying with them, sitting with them-- but no words could I say to plumb the depths of their sorrow.
Yet God is good. In the midst of the tragedy and pain of human sin, He is present, He is good. He never changes.
May the truth of the Christ child-- God with us-- be alive and well in you in this season and throughout each year as you experience your "little joys," whatever they maybe.
From the daddy of five little and one medium joy,