Tuesday, December 7
Sweet Little Jesus Boy
"Gesu Bambino" was one of my late mother's favorite Christmas musical messages. As sweet as it is to see little babies in bassinettes or mangers, it is so imperative that those little ones grow up. Thank God Jesus did not remain in the manger! The baby in the manger became the symbol of hope and the ultimate source of genuine hope later on.
As significant as it is for babies to grow up, it is even more vital for persons who begin their faith journeys to grow to maturity. Paul said something about this in Corinthians (eating meat versus still drinking milk), and the writer of Hebrews also encouraged believers to move beyond the ABC's of faith. The tragedy of tragedies is that one would fail to begin the faith journey at all and thereby miss the blessing of that personal relationship with the Creator God.
Our religion, the Christian faith, has inextricably bound us up with God in Christ. Had God not chosen the form of an infant babe as the pathway into this world as the Word Incarnate, we might indeed have missed God's advent, as we so often do in the common experiences of life.
Children and their significance are far too often overlooked. The Christ child was surrounded by God-fearing and faithful persons. They all helped to bring God's gift to completion and the fulfillment of the mission to deliver people from every manner of evil.
When you see that "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" in the manger this season, take up the double challenge. Resolve to continue to grow your own faith, and take the time to receive the gift of the children around you. Thereby you can encourage the growth of their faith to the glory of God! Believe me, it will increase your faith and honor the Christ who taught us that emulating the faith of a child is the paradoxical doorway to the Kingdom.
- Will Barnes
Dear Heavenly Father, your love and peace spread throughout the earth. It starts when one follower of Jesus helps someone in need; then it goes to others in schools, in churches, and into our homes. Your peace can spread like wildfire. It can circle the earth like a ribbon, but this will only happen if we all pray and love each other. Thank you for showing us the path to love and peace in your name. Amen.
- Jack Willhite