Listen to this devotional:
Matthew 1:20-21 – But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (NIV)
In this morning's e-mails was a picture of a dog sleeping in an open air manger, outside a church. Real cute! The dog is said to be abandoned and found comfort at the feet of the baby Jesus. There is something about a baby that draws all of us, even an abandoned dog. So, why did God come as a baby? It is a question many have asked through the centuries, and, yes, it draws on my heartstrings every Christmas.
Why did God's Son have to start life here on earth as a baby? It is wonderful that God came Himself to rescue us, but why start as a human baby? Why not come as a fully-grown man, fully formed? Yet, I must ask, would we really know ourselves if we had had no childhood, no formative years? Would Jesus have known Himself? Would He have been able to reach out to His countrymen with such understanding if He knew nothing about them? How would He have understood His own feelings, and how would He have understood His deep love for them? Today, how could we love Him if He knew nothing about our humanness?
Coming as a baby at the start of life, having the love of a good mother and the protection of a good father meant that Jesus was one of us. We identify with Him, and, yes, we return His love.
What a smart, wonderful idea for God to open His salvation plan with a baby! We sure could never have come up with that one, such a wonderful little baby! How we love Him!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we kneel with Mary and Joseph and gaze with love and adoration at You as a little baby, lying so quietly. Little did You know at that time how Your life would unfold and affect so many, but You followed Your divine Father's plan. Today we, too, follow You, as have generation after generation. We come to You, Jesus, with much love and a deep personal commitment. How we love You, our Saviour and our Lord. Amen.