A Child is Born

Sep 5, 2010

I drew the prayer below for two families with newborns. One child is completely healthy. The other child has serious health issues. Parenting a newborn or a child of any age is not easy. With little sleep and the reality of the responsibility, both sets of parents need support and prayer.

Sitting in church today I had a thought about Jesus and his birth narratives. As much as I love to sing them, the carols about Jesus as a sweet and gentle baby irk me. I hear people talk about “the little baby Jesus” and I want to shake them and say:  “Look what a child does to your life! They make lovely little noises. they smell milky sweet, and they are so beautiful when they sleep. But they wreak havoc on the life you once knew, the control you imagined you had.” Jesus does this too. He demands my love and attention. He throws my life into a tizzy. He invites me into a relationship and an obligation which both compels and terrifies. Nothing will ever be the same.

So maybe the birth narratives are important as more than just an excuse for a birthday party or even as a means to fulfill Biblical prophecy. “For unto us a child is born” (Isaiah 9:6) is both a promise and a warning. The love for this newborn Jesus, like all newborns, will change my life in ways both wonderful and unfathomable.