“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory…full of grace and truth.”- John 1: 14
I love baby pictures. Truthfully, I love babies and I bet you do too. This past month, I’ve visited newborns in the hospital and I have received several wonderful birth announcements from parents and grandparents. I love it! Pictures of newborns abound on my Facebook feed as well. “Welcome to our world little one”, I say! At home and in my office at church, I’ve got some baby pictures too. Many of you know that I have had two babies of my own. But there is one baby we all claim and he is named Jesus. Jesus is our baby to love. Nobody is left out of this baby’s love, so I have included one of his baby pictures for you. It’s an icon from Greece that my parents spent a whole afternoon choosing for me. This icon is one on which Orthodox Christians meditate, and now so do I. Gazing at the baby- tiny features, little grabby hands, chubby neck flesh, sweet face in repose-brings me comfort, hope and joy. Look deeply into the picture- can you tell who is doing the adoring? Doesn’t it seem like Jesus is as tender as the loving mother who is embracing him? That’s baby love.
You are invited to meditate on the Baby Jesus throughout this season of Advent and Christmas. Martin Luther implored people to “meditate on the Nativity just as you see it happening in your own babies”. Tis the season to contemplate not the majesty or deity of God, but rather the baby Jesus’ flesh. Divinity may terrify us, so that is why God comes down to us as an irresistible and vulnerable baby. Behold your God…lying in the lap of his mother and gurgling her milk! Look at the child, who knows nothing and yet all that is belongs to him. Imagine the baby springing up with every ounce of strength and laugh with him. Look upon this little Lord of Peace and your spirit will be at peace. See how God invites you into rest, placing before you a baby with whom you may take refuge. You cannot fear this baby, for there is nothing more irresistible. Be wooed by every baby you see this season, into the deeper love and peace of our little Lord Jesus. Be wooed by the Christ child as you encounter him anew in the days ahead through our worship and prayer.