Devon Dick | God as a baby
On Christmas Day, there was a newscast claiming that the children were suffering because of tension in and around Jerusalem. How paradoxical, that God appeared as a baby in Jesus in that region, the very place that is insensitive to young ones.
God appearing as a baby in Jesus shows that God identifies with babies and finds His identity, His nature, His essence in babies. Furthermore, He affirms the pregnancy process that leads to delivery. Pregnancy is a holy vocation. Mary went through nine months of normal pregnancy. Therefore, pregnancy is a high calling, wonderful privilege and an awesome responsibility which should not be taken lightly or entered upon inadvisably.
That God became a baby in Jesus means that babies are special. Too often, we think instinctively of babies as an interruption of our normal, important life. Too often, we want to delegate parenting to other caregivers in the home, school and church, not realising that to be a parent, whether biologically or through adoption, is the pinnacle of human existence. And the work we engage to earn money is not living, but a means to care for babies to facilitate living.
Parenting becomes the 'any other business' of a busy professional life. Even the early disciples of Jesus did not understand the importance of children. When parents were taking children to Jesus they turned them away, thinking Jesus was too preoccupied with preaching and teaching the Word of God, healing the sick and counselling the confused and conflicted, to attend to the needs of children. However, for Jesus, He not only identified with babies, since he was once a baby, but He also modelled children as an example of faith in God, which should be wholehearted and constant. And just as how a child is dependent on parents, so those who want to enter the kingdom of God should rely on God fully and be humble and teachable.
It is rather strange that adults pay inadequate attention to babies, forgetting that we all were once babies. Furthermore, if we live long enough we will go back to a baby stage in accordance with the prediction, 'once a man, twice a child'. It, therefore, makes eminent sense to respect babies.
We knew a long time ago that we should train a child in the way he or she should grow and when he or she is old, he or she will not depart. Most scientists claim that the fastest growth in knowledge occurs before the child is seven. Hence, early childhood education is paramount. Pay greater attention to foundational work on babies in order to create wonderful citizens and godly people.
A baby is God's masterpiece. All have worth and dignity. Therefore, one should take care of the baby, being careful what examples we set for them. We should also avoid giving harmful products to babies. There should be no prejudice against any of God's children.
God appearing as a baby in Jesus is a reaffirmation that babies were made in the image of God. All babies have attributes that are similar to God's, can commune with God. It means also that God is concerned about the affairs of babies. God wants His children to experience peace and prosperity. We ought to treat all babies equally, irrespective of how they came into this world and where they live.
Commendations to groups who give gifts unconditionally to babies born on Christmas Day at our public hospitals. This is worthy of emulation. This is how we ought to treat babies all the time and all over the world.
- Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete', and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.