Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Advent 2014

Tuesday, December 23

 

Some thoughts on God as a parent from a new parent...

            

At the first Christmas, God likely experienced some of what I have felt over the last year since the birth of my first child, Henry.  Jesus' birth was much different, of course.  My becoming a parent changed my life; God becoming a parent changed the whole world.  Among other things, the son of God was not born in a hospital, and His birth was announced with a multitude of angels instead of a Facebook post and a text message.  Despite the differences, I imagine that God felt the anticipation of pregnancy, the drama of birth, the celebration of a new baby, the hope of new life, and so much love. 


Having a baby has changed our lives as well as the lives of our families.  It has been amazing to see the transformation in my in-laws who became grandparents for the first time this year.  They are crazy about Henry - their love for their grandson is enthusiastic and generous.   God's love for His children is as exuberant as first-time grandparent love, the kind that proudly posts pictures on Facebook or buys too many toys and clothes.  I wonder if the wisemen's gifts were God's way of doting on Jesus.


I am sure that God treasured the tiny smile of baby Jesus and cringed at his shrieking newborn cry.  When Henry was just a few days old, Rob declared the author of "Away in a Manger" was crazy to write "no crying He makes."  One of God's great parental advantages is that God does not need sleep and is never being woken up by a crying, hungry baby.  Psalm 121 makes me jealous of God:  "He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep" (nrsv).  God is not sleepy or bleary-eyed from watching over us, and God doesn't need a video camera over the crib.  As a new parent, I have spent much of the last year, before and after Henry's birth, sleep-deficient and over-caffeinated.  Yet this Psalm is also assuring - God our loving parent steadfastly watches over us.  When I was pregnant and eating scrambled eggs at 3:00 a.m., and later when I was up at 3:00 a.m. feeding Henry his first breakfast, God was watching over us, never growing tired. 


At Christmas we celebrate the coming of Jesus who was born of a loving God.  With baby Jesus 2,000 years ago and baby Henry this year, God our parent loves us exuberantly and watches over each of God's children tirelessly.

 

- Tricia Kilgore

 

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