Well, He cried when He was hungry,
Did all the things that babies do;
He rocked and He napped on His mother’s lap,
And He wiggled and giggled and cooed.
There were the cheers when He took His first step,
And the tears when He got His first teeth;
Almost everything about this little baby
Seemed as natural as it could be.
And this Baby grew into a young boy,
Who learned to read and write and wrestle with dad;
There was the climbing of trees and the scraping of knees,
And all the fun that a boy’s born to have.
He grew taller and some things started changing,
Like His complexion and the sound of His voice;
There was work to be done as a carpenter’s son
And all the neighbors said He’s such a fine boy.
And love made Him laugh and death made Him cry.
With the life that He lived and the death that He died,
He showed us Heaven with His hands and His heart,
‘Cause this man was God’s own son.
This man was like no other one,
Holy and human right from the start.
But this Baby made the angels sing,
And this Baby made a new star shine in the sky.
This Baby had come to change the world.
This Baby was God’s own son, this baby was like no other one.
This Baby was God with us, this baby, this baby was Jesus;
This Baby was Jesus, this baby was Jesus.
(Steven Curtis Chapman’s “This Baby” from The Music of Christmas)
Christ’s birth. Here it is after Christmas and I’m writing about what might have been more timely last month. But starting a new year is a new beginning in so many ways that perhaps you’ll let me Christmas talk a little more in January. Actually, on January 8th we will begin our 27th year of ministry. That’s a lot of songs over that time that declare the Gospel; in fact just a simple estimate is about 3 million ‘spins’ and over 11 million minutes of the message of Christ being shared. Over the years we’ve received thousands of notes and calls of gratitude for having come in 1990 to encourage the Church. Your financial and prayerful support has only been rivaled by your grace to us. When I read those notes, I’m always reminded of how the Sprit of God has always been invited to do ‘His Will’ through this station. Frankly, without His presence, nothing much would get done here. I think WBVN has become a resting place for most of us over the years. We’ve found a home here that’s reflective of being home in the Comfort of God’s Grace and Love.
Wisely, Paul taught us to teach one another with the music of psalms and hymns. We’ve experienced the potential of music ministry/worship by doing so for all those 25 years. Each Christmas season, we only have a slight change in the music rotation we play because the songs, while changing to a different subject in the Gospel Story, still tells the Story of Christ much like we do all year long. All 365 days each year, our concentration has always been on that baby that Steven sings about. It is amazing that that baby wiggled and giggled and cooed and that baby’s incarnation gives us hope that our Savior was fully the Son of Man and the Son of God. We know from the pre-Genesis story that Jesus was always coming, was always aware of his coming and always eager to come. It was in the heart of God Father, Son and Spirit for Him to come, not because of Who they are but because of What they are. Three in One, loving, all three in relationship, cooperative with one another, excited and willing to do whatever it took to open their relationship to us. (I remember hearing a teacher once smilingly make a point: the goal of the Trinity was not to create a creature to take in as a pet that might, once in a while, need some attention but that was pretty much on its own most of the time. They did not create man just to be a pain in Their side, an irritation, or to frustrate them from time to time. What They did intend was for a creature to enter into the fellowship of Their Life, share Their Hope and intimate fellowship. A creature to be with and to share the embrace of their Oneness. The decision to create that kind of creature was made long before Adam, long before the creature had pleased or disappointed. That decision of sharing Their Life was before the foundation of the world. (Eph. 1:4, 2Tim. 1:9, John 17:24)
I heard a poem once that was called ‘Does God Have A Clue What It’s Like To Be You?’ Could God imagine or understand exactly what it’s like to be you? The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, became like us and experienced the human life at the same level we do. Being born of a woman and living a normal human life for most of his life. Born into a simple carpenter’s house that depended upon selling tables and chairs to survive. (Rich Mullins’ ‘Boy Like Me, Man Like You’ might be appropriate here.) The Scriptures say that he grew in knowledge and wisdom as any boy would do. Did Jesus know exactly what it’s like to live by Faith and not by sight? Yes. Does God know what it’s like to live in the middle of life’s confusion and confrontations? Absolutely. Did the nails hurt Jesus just like any other man? What do you think? (John Cox’s song ‘Tell Me’ helps here.) He was ridiculed, cursed, falsely accused, misunderstood by family and his closest friends, suffered injustice, arrested and beaten by the government, declared guilty when he was completely innocent, tortured, he was wounded and murdered by his own religious community. We know he suffered heartbrokenness, pain, temptation, hunger, tears, and faced the emotional loneliness of his own death. Does God have a clue what it’s like to be you?
That baby, that one that wiggled, giggled and cooed, ‘was you a boy like I was once, was you a boy like me?’ (Mullins), that baby, ‘did it hurt when they drove the nails in your hands, did they get to see a grown man cry?’ (Cox) that baby was tempted in every way as we are: God became flesh and knew the same human life that we experience. This baby in his birth, death and resurrection changed the world: If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by (this baby) Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation… that God was in (this baby) Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2Co 5:17-19)
… this Baby made the angels sing, and this Baby made a new star shine in the sky. This Baby had come to change the world. This Baby was God’s own son, this baby was like no other one.
This Baby was God with us, this baby, this baby was Jesus.