Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Word Became Flesh...

Babies in our family

Today marks the first Sunday of Advent. It also is the birth day of the newest member of our family, my grand-niece, Ivy, who was born less than four hours ago.

Christmas season is in full swing. Santa Claus has arrived in parades and malls, stores have extended hours for a busy shoppers, church choirs are rehearsing cantatas, and parties and family gatherings are being planned.

The first chapter of the Gospel of John describes the coming of the Messiah to earth. These verses are from The Message.

"He was in the world, the world was there through him,
and yet the world didn't even notice..."

"The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighbourhood.

We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,

like Father, like Son, generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.


Jesus moved into his neighbourhood in flesh and blood. He arrived as other babies come, with pain and joy, into an uncertain world but one with hope and potential. His birthplace was more humble than average and his immediate family was not distinguished. During his ministry he mingled with sinful and sick people, touching their flesh, identifying with their suffering, bringing compassion and healing into their lives. He taught about the kingdom of God using simple parables which paralleled the lives of the people who listened to his words. He did not restrict himself to a pulpit within the walls of a place of worship. He was Lord of the fields, the trees, the seas, the lilies, and the sparrows. And he sought to be Lord of people who chose to be his disciples. He did not have a political agenda and resisted those who wanted him to build an empire on earth.

How can we celebrate the coming of Christ to earth? Do people in my "neighbourhood" know I am a follower of Christ? Is my worship and service restricted to a particular church building where people may look for a God who thinks the way they do and fits the box they made for him? Or do I reach out and touch the flesh of those who are needy, who are not like me, who are hurting and lonely? Will I be generous inside and out, true from start to finish?

Our family has welcomed many babies over the years. Ivy is our flesh and blood and will be loved and admired as she grows and develops.

Jesus showed us that everyone in the world is our flesh and blood. He came to all mankind and those who follow his example must do the same.

If I could visit Bethlehem

If I could visit Bethlehem,
what presents would I bring?
If I could see what happened then,
what would I say or sing?

I wouldn't take a modern toy,
but gold to pay for bread,
some wine to give his parents joy,
and wool to warm his bed.

I'd learn some simple words to speak
in Aramaic tongue.
I'd cradle him, and kiss his cheek,
and say, "I'm glad you've come."

If Mary asked me who I was
and what her child would do;
I wouldn't talk about the cross,
or tell her all I knew.

I'd say, "He'll never hurt or kill,
and joy will follow tears.
We'll know his name and love him still,
in twenty hundred years."

I cannot visit Bethlehem,
but what I can, I'll do:
I'll love you, Jesus as my friend,
and give my life to you.

Brian Wren
© 1990 Stainer & Bell Ltd
CM

11 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the member of the family.Each child is a gift from God.I thank God for the gift of His Son,Jesus.
    Have a day filled with joy.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  2. Congratulations Grandma. A beautiful post.

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  3. The challenge you've layed out is real and true. Jesus broke out of the moulds,he didn't create them. Thank you for this post going into this season. Congratulations for a baby with a beautiful name!!

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  4. Powerful thoughts and questions! I've often thought about the impact I, as a Christian, am making on my little world. I work at a Christian school, so my colleagues and students know what I believe...but my neighbors don't, unless they've taken the time to research my school. I should take the time to tell them.

    Your poem at the end reminds me of Christina Rosetti's beautiful "In the Bleak Midwinter" that asks the same "What shall I give Him" question and answers "Give Him my heart."

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  5. Congrats on the new addition! Ivy is a sweet name. I hope mother and baby are well. I love baby pics!

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  6. Congratulations on the arrival of baby Ivy. :c)

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  7. Wonderful to have a new family member, congrats to you!

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  8. How big is the family now? I like the face of that first photo.

    I try not to be too commercial at Christmas.

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  9. Thanks for your comments and congratulations. Ann, the first picture is my brother closest in age to me. When I started blogging in 2006, I posted this picture of my father's side of the family. No spouses are included, just blood descendants of my grandparents. Since then there are four more great-great grandchildren including Ivy.

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  10. What a joy to welcome little Ivy on the first day of Advent! Thank you for sharing your Advent thoughts.

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  11. Mexico Mom10:19 pm GMT-5

    Loved this post. The verse was new to me but will make a copy of it.
    Christmas will be different for me this year. Will let granddaughter Vanessa borrow my naciminento. (nativity scene)
    Grand Canyon superb also.
    Be blessed.

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