Understanding God the Father has become more accessible to me since becoming a parent. I hope we are all fortunate enough to understand the safety, warmth and comfort that comes from having loving caregivers, but since becoming a Mum, I have the privilege of feeling love for my children as our heavenly Father feels for us.
When I look at my children I don’t just see them in that moment. I remember the comforting weight of them inside of me, their pink screaming selves at birth, their laughs, cries, intrigue and excitement.
Their future is in my sight too. I can see limitless potential continually forming, where their character will be challenged, where they will excel.
This way of seeing past, present and future gives perspective on their frustrations and disappointments. They see it as the end of the world, but I see it as an opportunity to strengthen character. To protect them from worry, sadness or anger in the moment it happens would be wrong, because of the damage it could cause in the future.
I don’t know about you, but when thinking of Jesus, I struggle to see him as I do my own children. I see him almost as two separate beings. 1) The newborn baby, born into a filthy stable, nursed by a teen-mum and 2) the man who was tortured and killed for our sins, being resurrected on the third day so that we may have life.
Our (my) protective instincts over ‘baby Jesus’ are triggered by the knowledge of what will come in his future. We (I) don’t want to think about what his future holds, I don’t want to have that perspective. We (I) want to shout at Mary and tell her to hold on to him as long as possible because her baby is not going to be with her forever.
I am not quite sure what my conclusion is here. I am certainly not so disillusioned as to think I can provide you with some original Christmas message that you have never heard before. Rather, I challenge you to think about perspective this Christmas, and how it is possible for Jesus to be both a newborn and a living sacrifice for our sins. I suppose this is the challenge for all Christians, to see God’s goodness and the brokenness of the world for to dismiss one would be to discount the weight of the other.
On a lighter, but equally important note, I pray you have a peaceful and joyful Christmas.