Several months ago, one of my students, recently married, blurted out in class, “I can’t believe it, but I’m pregnant.”
The prospect of graduate school, first professional job, and plans for the future were in jeopardy. I looked at her with understanding and compassion and said, “God changed the world through a baby.”
Her response was to throw her hands in the air and exclaim, “This baby has changed my world.”
I am happy to report that my student has completed her degree and is a shining example of excellence in her first professional position. I also report that the baby arrived two weeks ago. Mom, Dad, and baby are happy, blessed, and crazy in love with the new born! A baby will change your world.
God changed the world, not by sending an army, but by sending a baby:
What child is this, who, laid to rest, On Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, While shepherds watch are keeping? This, this is Christ the King,
The birth of Christ the King is a glorious story. As we come to the end of the first week of Advent, let’s outline seven members of the cast of players in this world changing drama:
1-The Baby occupies center stage. Angels sing “Glory to God in the highest.” The baby swaddled, in the feeding trough, in a stable, is the hope of the world.
2-Mary is the hero in the story. She is so young, a teenager of 14 or 15 years of age. Yes, she is a unwed, teenage mother.
- Mary says to the Angel “Let it be to me as the Lord has said.”
- Mary endures the scoff, gossip and ridicule of a small town.
- Mary makes the journey to Bethlehem and gives birth in a stable.
3-Joseph is Mary’s champion and protector. He is a man of few words, great dreams, and unquestioning obedience.
- Joseph hears God whisper, “Take her as your wife,” and he does.
- Joseph hears God whisper, “Take her to Egypt,” and he does.
- Joseph hears God whisper, “Take her home to Nazareth,” and he does.
4-Herod is the arch-villain who launches the first war on Christmas. He is the first Grinch who tries to steal Christmas.
- Herod clawed his way to power and would not be usurped by a baby king.
- Herod heard the news and all Jerusalem was troubled with him.
- Herod sent his storm troopers to kill the new born infants of Bethlehem.
5-High Priests and Scribes play the part of Herod’s minions. Educated in the Scriptures and beholden to Herod, they tow the line.
- High Priests and Scribes know the town of the baby’s birth.
- High Priests and Scribes never go to Bethlehem to see the baby.
- High Priests and Scribes embody the knowing-doing gap of faith.
6-Shepherds are a surprise appearance in the story. They had a bad reputation for petty crime. Their occupation required them to broke the strict law of Pharisees.
- Shepherds remind us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
- Shepherds experience the opening between heaven and earth, “Glory.”
- Shepherds were given the sign of the baby in a manger.
7-Wise Mean make a guest appearance in the production. They were Gentiles, outsiders, and pagans who had heard of the birth through the Hebrew Scripture and the stars.
- Wise Men stood up to Herod when Chief Priests and Scribes towed the line.
- Wise Men followed, found, bowed, worshiped, opened, and gave.
- Wise Men when home a different way because they had been changed.
A baby changes everything. We must make our choice and take our stand. I choose to stand with the infant in the manger.
A video of the story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMj084Ggwww
Copyright (c) Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.
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