There is a Johnson and Johnson’s commercial on TV that showcases some of their baby products by playing a few views of new moms and dads cuddling their babies and babies sleeping peacefully all snuggled up. At the end of the commercial, the tag line simply says “A baby changes everything.”
Well, I’ve had three babies…and I can attest to that in my experience for sure. Schedules become a juggling act. Sleeping becomes a longing the body scarcely remembers. Time to oneself often takes a back seat to the child for a good, hmmm, 18 years or so.
With all of the toys and activities and diaper wipe warmers that are available today for the comfort and entertainment of these little cherubs, you would think it would be easier to care for and grow them.
Oftentimes, we as Christians knowing the stories we know of Jesus’s adult life, don’t usually imagine the time He spent as a baby. Sure we see a manger scene and usually see Mary kneeling over her newborn Son and Joseph standing with his staff at her side. I actually remember kneeling down to pick up my own babies or getting lost for a time staring at them. Surely Jesus’s parents spent ample time caring for His needs, growing and teaching Him, loving Him.
But what about the moments when the Wise Men left and went on their way? What about when it was time for the Holy Family to move on with their life and proceed with their journey for the census and then return to home? We don’t often seen too much time on that part of Jesus’s life.
What we do know is that a baby requires a lot of snuggling and loving and caring. Babies need to learn to walk and talk and feed themselves. Babies grow into children and with love and commitment, learn the ways of this world. But all of this takes dedication. It takes lessons and love. It takes sacrifice and selflessness. It takes intentional time.
When I think about the joy I got from the first time I saw my kids smile or heard them laugh, I could have missed it if I had not taken the time to be there, paying attention to them. I might have missed the opportunity to love on them or kiss their boo boos if I had not made the effort to be in their presence. I might have missed the moments of hearing them play in the other room or listening to the back door slam as they went out to play…but I was paying attention and now it is singed into my memory with joy.
Think about what intentional time spent with someone you love brings to your heart and your soul. Think about any time you have really leaned into someone and just listened to or witnessed or shared something with them. You don’t have to bring to mind a baby—though they seem to need to most from us.
I think, especially in this time of preparation in advent, we could stand to take this opportunity to really pay attention. Stop and lean into what the Lord may be wanting to share with you. Know that when you take time in prayer and thoughtfulness, you often learn something new or you feel something deeply…sometimes when the Lord moves in your quietness, you walk away changed. Think about how just the news of His birth changed things. Think about how His life affected history. Think about what started in that manger, ended on a cross, but continues to change hearts everyday even now.
Let His birth, His life, His story, and His love for you get deep inside of your heart as you remember what happened in Bethlehem so long ago…for a baby changes everything….
…That Baby surely changed everything.
Lean in…slow down…pay attention…listen…hear what shepherds heard from the Lord’s messengers:
“I bring news of great joy, news that will affect all people everywhere. Today in the city of David, a liberator has been born for you! He is the promised Anointed One, the Supreme Authority! You will know you have found Him when you see a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a feeding trough.” (Luke 2:8-12 The Voice)
A baby changed everything.
Lord, we look forward to all You have to say to us, all you have to give. We praise you and move with joyful hearts remembering what Your birth changed in this world.