We are pleased to end the year with a guest post by Betty Lepage.
I was excited as I drove along the snowy city streets. The homes I passed by were all decked in their glitter and lights. They added softness and warmth to the darkness of this wintery night.
I reached the church and easily found a parking space. When I entered the sanctuary, I was happy to find there were still plenty of seats available. My eyes scanned the crowd for any familiar faces. I didn’t find any so decided on a pew about half way up on the right hand side. I slipped the red plaid scarf off my neck and waited in anticipation.
The padded bench was a bonus, but I didn’t come here just for the comfy seats. I had attended other presentations in this church and had really enjoyed them.
The lights dimmed and my eyes focused on the stage in front of me. Soon there were Shepherds wandering about. An angel appeared to them with big news. A very bright star appeared in the sky to some wise men. I could see the outline of a stable.
My anticipation and excitement faded. Where was the unique and different presentation that I had so earnestly hoped for? Tonight was just a repeat of the same old story. I was so disappointed.
I had always wondered how anyone could ever enjoy reading a book twice over within only a matter of days. Even if the books were my favourites I had to put them away for a couple years, before I dared crack them open again. Too many details just stayed glued in my memory.
And here I was now, viewing this same account yet one more time. I had gone to church all my life so knew it well.
The familiar was okay when I knew the people on stage or if there were toddlers or small children involved. Kids are unpredictable and their cuteness and spontaneity always bring newness to any event. But here I knew no one or they were all adults.
I silently whispered a prayer of desperation, Oh Lord please show me something new. Your coming to earth was very precious, and I never want to take that for granted but this same story told over and over, well tonight, I just need something extra, to breath new life into it.
My eyes focused back on the stage. Now there was Mary and Joseph, and the baby. The stable with some animals, and I think there were some wise men bringing gifts.
But suddenly my heart got stuck on the baby, and that changed everything!
You know about babies don’t you? They are so cute and cuddly. They have the most irresistible smile, the softest skin, and the tiniest little fingers and toes. They are a little bundle of perfection. Oh don’t you love to slip your big index finger into their tiny gently curled ones? I loved to feel their gentle baby grasp tighten around mine.
And who could resist, tickling their tiny toes? Would there be a rewarding sweet smile or a burst of infectious laughter? Not that I could see all that from where I was sitting. But we know it, don’t we, because we’ve all seen babies up close! And this baby was wrapped.
My heart flooded with awe. I saw Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the One who laid aside all the splendour and glory of heaven, all wrapped up in the body of this little tiny baby. Wow, what a humble beginning He had.
Now can you imagine, Jesus, as a helpless baby? Can you imagine Him totally and absolutely dependent on another human being? It was enough to melt my stony heart. Tears crept slowly down my face.
And now I wished the Bible mentioned more about Jesus as a baby. What was he like?
Because babies just need so much help. They can’t get up and walk to the fridge when they are hungry. They can’t dress themselves. They can’t go to the closet and pick another choice of raiment when they are tired of the clothes you put on them. They can’t clearly tell you what they need or want. They can only cry and hope you will come to them and figure it out. Oh, He could have called a thousand angels at any time, but He didn’t.
I was amazed, thinking about Jesus as a baby. But you know the baby was just the wrapping - It wasn’t the gift. The world is filled with babies of all colours and sizes. So it wasn’t that the world needed one more of them. And although they bring joy, any parent knows they are a full time commitment. But left on their own they are completely helpless. So how can a baby help change the world?
But we know Jesus was no ordinary baby, and He had to come to us this way. There was an exceptionally big promise that came along with this Baby. He was a gift of love and hope, the promise of a coming King, a precious Saviour to the world, and someone the world had long been waiting for.
I don’t remember much else of the presentation. But this story would never be the same again!
Jesus, the greatest gift of all, came to us most oddly wrapped as a baby. He did it for us.
Oh what a beautiful gift.
Betty LePage enjoys the peaceful country life in central Alberta. She loves books, gardening, and her small animals as well as all the birds and butterflies that come to visit. She has wanted to write a book ever since she knew what a book was. She occasionally blogs over at http://hopefullyminded.blogspot.com, and is currently working on two book projects.