Jump Start # 2234
Isaiah 9:6 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
We missed our Jump Starts yesterday. I was out of the loop and didn’t have access to writing a Jump Start. My youngest son and his wife had their first baby yesterday. Things took too a bit longer than everyone anticipated but everyone is well and a new baby is among our family and I have my ninth grandchild. Much to be thankful for and truly feelings of being blessed.
There is something special about little babies. They are so innocent, cute and just helpless. They can’t survive without adults helping them. They make funny noises, are so soft and can’t recognize who is who for a while. And those little hearts will be loved and adored. They will be held, rocked, sung to, photographed and bragged about. We love babies. They change our lives. It’s amazing all things a couple has to have in the home just for one little baby. They truly change our lives.
As I looked at that sweet little baby boy yesterday, it made me think of my son, who is now a new daddy. He was like that. There was a time when I was like that. And, this is the way that Jesus came into this world. A sweet little baby. He wasn’t talking. He wasn’t wearing a golden halo. I doubt that many gave Mary a baby shower. Most felt disappointed and ashamed with Mary. Most thought that Joseph was a really outstanding guy. How could he do this? Shameful. They weren’t married. And, if it wasn’t Joseph’s baby, was Mary so scandalous that she was running around with someone else while she was engaged to Joseph? Mary claimed it was God who made her pregnant, but that sounded ridiculous. Why would God do that? Why to her? It’s never happened before? All of this sounded like a way to cover up her sin. The wonderful news about carrying the Messiah, must have made Mary felt embarrassed and an outcast.
The prophet Isaiah begins this powerful statement about the coming Messiah by announcing, “a child will be born to us.” A baby. A baby in a manger, is how we now see it. Cute. Adorable. Soft. Unable to speak. But loved by Mary. Heaven’s child didn’t come with an escort. He didn’t receive VIP treatment and a suite at the local hospital. Born in a barn among animals. Born without a doctor, hospital staff, baby warmers and a host of things that took place for us yesterday. No IVs for Mary. It wasn’t too long ago, just the generation before me, that many were born at home. Many didn’t make it. History tells of so many young mothers who died at child birth. The sad stories of baby and mother being buried together is sprinkled throughout this country.
We all come into this world the same way, born of a woman, just as Jesus was. No one begins life with the ability to speak, comes with a job and an education. The greatest and the most common all enter the world the same. We don’t know our name, our mother’s name or anything other than we are hungry and all we can do is squeak and cry to get someone’s attention. The advantages that quickly separate us in life come not from ourselves but from others. The color of our skin, our family name, the position in life of our parents, can open doors that will be closed to others. Advantages come, not from that little baby, but from others are around us. The Royal family in England has had some recent births. Those children will grow up in palaces. Most of them will not work a nine-five job. They will have servants around them all of their lives. My little grandson won’t have any of those things. Side by side, those babies may look and act the same, the difference in life is found in who and what their family is.
Influences in life quickly shape us and our personality. Some babies never go home with their mothers. They are adopted out for one reason or another. Some will have a tough road ahead because of neglect, meanness and indifference. Some will grow up in an environment of adults who are wicked and godless. Those tiny ears will hear words that should never be spoken. It will witness blasphemy and sin on an everyday basis. It may never hear the Lord thanked. It may never be read the wonderful stories of God. It may never enjoy the beauty of worshipping God on Sunday. That child is set on a course that leads away from God. As he grows, his influences and choices can keep him on that track or he can begin to see the wonder of God.
My little grandbaby will have such an advantage in life. He is loved by a couple that love each other. Their home honors the Lord and praises Him daily. He will learn about the Lord. He will be taken to Bible classes and he may even sit in the audience and listen to me preach. He will learn that certain words are not allowed in his home. He will be guided and shaped to make right choices. As disappointments come, and they do, he will learn to lose with dignity and to win with grace and honor. He will be taught to be a man that leads and influences others. He will be shown how to be a man of God and a man of his word. These things do not just fall from Heaven. My son and his wife will have years and years of influencing, correcting, teaching, guiding and showing their little son how to love the Lord and others. If like his new dad, he will learn to be a servant. He will shovel neighbors driveways in the winter. He’ll help others move. He’ll pick up sticks in the yards for others. He’ll clean out stuffed garages. He’ll get dirty and tired and he may even complain a bit, but he’ll look back and realize the good in helping others. I know this, because his new dad was one that I took to do all those things.
I looked at that little baby boy and wondered if he would lead singing like his daddy does one day. I wondered if he would preach like his uncle and I do. I wondered if he would teach Bible classes as his mother does.
A child is born. Blessings from Heaven. A gift from the Lord. A huge responsibility for new parents. A little bundle of joy that changes our lives and puts a wonderful responsibility upon us to shelter, guide and shape that little heart and personality. And, if this ole’ world continues on, someday, that little baby may grow up, marry and have a little child of his own. Sweet beginnings. Precious moments and memories. Powerful responsibility. A generation goes and a generation comes.
Our Lord chose to come this same way, as a little baby. Reminders of Scriptures. Much to be thankful for.
Life—we all come into this world the same way. We are the way we are today, because of influences, choices and what we have done with what was before us. Be kind to the little ones. Be patient with new parents. Set forth examples of holiness and righteousness. Point the way to our Savior.
Welcome, little Titus!