Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas...from a new father's perspective

     Christmas is definitely nothing new for me.  I've been celebrating it for 39 years now.  But this year everything seems new.  I guess having a baby will do that.  Mostly I've been thinking about the incarnation for the past couple weeks.  John tells us that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and Paul tells us in Philippians tells us that Jesus gave up everything to take the form of man.  Again these are not new Scriptures to me.  I've always known that Jesus was born as a baby and had to grow up in the normal human fashion. But now I am seeing this with new eyes...the eyes of a father.
     As I watch my daughter, I am so enthralled by everything she does (ok, maybe not the screaming). I can sit and stare at her for hours, watching every facial movement and hand movement.  And even when she isn't moving, I still marvel at the fact that she has been given to us to raise.  She is completely helpless. She can only sleep, poop, and cry on her own.  For everything else she is dependent on us.
     Now, I think about the fact that God -- the omniscient, all-powerful Creator of the universe -- came to us, not as a mighty king or a battle-ready warrior, but as a utterly helpless baby.  Jesus (the Word of God) couldn't even communicate with his parents other than crying and smiling.  He couldn't do anything but sleep, cry and poop on his own.  The Savior of the world was utterly dependent on his human parents to eat and live.  And being born as a baby meant that he had to learn everything, like walking and talking and reading and writing.  Mind. Blown!  Maybe I should just stop there and let you think about that for a while.  I should, but I won't because I have a few more thoughts.
atching my daughter also brings lots of questions: Was Jesus really "the perfect child" that we sing about in our Christmas songs? Did he ever fight sleep? Did he get upset when Mary and Joseph left him in the donkey stroller too long? Did he ever get sick? Did he keep his parents up at all hours of the night? We feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of our human daughter. What must the pressure have been like for Mary and Joseph knowing they were raising the Son of God? I don't have the answers but I suspect that everything that we consider "normal" for babies, Jesus experienced.  If that doesn't amaze you, nothing will.  Especially those of you who are parents.

Merry Christmas from a new father.... And from all of the Brande family

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