THE CHRISTMAS CHILD : LUKE 2 v 1 – 7
Some of us have celebrated and enjoyed the arrival of babies into our families. Very soon pictures are taken and posted on Facebook or WhatsApp
I wonder if we were able to go back in time to the birth of the Jesus and took a few pictures, what would we see that would be of importance and significance to us today? Come with me to Bethlehem, to the nativity, to the story of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. In the short space we in this post let’s see if we can wrap our thoughts around “SNAPSHOTS” or “PICTURES “ of the Christ Child and His and our Heavenly Father.
There are three pictures I want to share with you ……
Firstly we see a picture of His protection. As the time for a baby to be born draws near, there is always a tinge of worry on the part of a mum and dad. Is my bag packed for the hospital? Will the baby be ok ? What if I don’t make it in time? How different the circumstances and surroundings were for Mary and her baby. They had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, A rough passage of more than 60 miles. There is no evidence in God’s Word that they had a donkey, and then when they get there, there is no place for them to have the Baby, except the place at the back of the Inn. A stable probably cut out of the rock. Later we hear of Herod trying to kill all the Babies under three to try and eliminate this prophesied King. God in a dream told the Wise Men to go home by a different route so they wouldn’t encounter his search for Jesus. He also told Joseph in a dream to pick up the baby Jesus and Mary and go into the land of Egypt to escape Herod’s act of genocide. The baby was kept safe. Here we have this picture of protection and you know friends to His own people he offers protection not necessarily from illness or difficulties but He promises to keep you safe from Satan “no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10 vs 28)
Then we see a picture of His Passion (or His death). Babies nowadays have a whole host of little bonnets and cardigans knitted and bought to them but how very different and significant was the clothing of the baby Jesus. Swaddling clothes consisted of a great square of cloth and a long bandage like strap sewed to one corner. The child was wrapped in the square then the long strap was wound round and round it a SWADDLING CLOTH. It was used at His birth and it was used at his death. The whole significance of Jesus birth pointed to His death. The Stable and His tomb hewn out of a rock, the wood in the crib the wood on the cross, the gift of Myrrh points to His death.
Then we see a picture of poverty. Anyone looking into our maternity wings can see such comfort. Northern Ireland is in the top 10% of comfortable hospitals. Don’t you wonder why he chose to come to us in the first place the KING OF HEAVEN born in squalor? He became poor for our sake so that we could come to Him in love, the one who is rich in grace and mercy and then be forgiven and filled.“………….and she brought forth her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a Manger”