The countdown has begun for the arrival of baby boy #4… Our other boys were born at 37, 38, and 38 weeks, so it could be as soon as next week, or as far away as the second week of January if this little guy decides to wait!
It’s been a little different carrying out all this preparation while at the same time preparing for Christmas! The newborn diapers are out on the changing table, the sleepers are washed, and the pacifiers are purchased. The infant car seat is sitting in the living room next to the pack ‘n play, which has been dusted and cleaned. And all of this has been accomplished while decorating the house and shopping for Christmas gifts!
I think it’s impossible to be expecting a son at Christmas without thinking of God’s Son, born for us so many years ago. It’s amazing to think that while our time of anticipation has seemed long at times (all 8 months of it!), Jesus was born thousands of years after his coming was first foretold in Genesis 3.
Someone asked me the other day if I’ve thought about Mary more this year, with being pregnant and all. I really have. I have felt very thankful that I do not have to make a journey on a donkey at this point in the pregnancy or give birth in a stable! But mainly, I have thought about why Jesus came.
Since this is our fourth son, we’ve gotten an abundance of “helpful” comments from well-meaning friends, family members, and strangers. People have asked us (and our parents) how we will afford another child. People have expressed concern/amazement at how crazy our house will be with four boys. People (mainly strangers) have made a whole variety of comments implying that we are having a large family because we just keep “trying for a girl!”
It’s true that this child is not going to have everything that the world feels is important. He will probably never have his own room. It’s likely that none of our boys ever will – until some of them start going to college! He’ll wear clothes that have been worn before. He will not be able to participate in every activity that he might want to do, because the cost of those things quickly adds up when you have four. And unless our ship comes in, I’ll be surprised if we are able to pay for the entire cost of any of their college educations!
But are these things what God says is important?
Jesus was born into a family of humble means. Although He was the King, He was born in a stable and laid in a manger. Shepherds were His first visitors – not nobility or even the religious leaders of the day. He was not born into a period of history in which He would be able to experience the comforts of air conditioning, cars, and antibiotics. I doubt that He had his own room, brand new clothes to wear, and all of the comforts that the first century had to offer. During His three years of earthly ministry, He did not have a “place to lay His head” (Matt. 8:20).
Jesus did not come to rescue the world from poverty or difficult circumstances or Roman rule. If those were our greatest needs, He could have done it. He came because our greatest need is reconciliation. We had made ourselves His enemies through our willful choice to sin, and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Out of God’s mercy, He sent His Son to die for us, so that we might become His children.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14
And not only that, but because Jesus lived on this earth and experienced the challenges that we experience, He is able to help us in our weakness (Hebrews 4:14-16). Through Him, we have the ability to be holy in whatever circumstances we are in.
Because of God’s grace, our family will enjoy this Christmas in a warm house that is starting to feel cramped, but is adequate for our needs – and far surpasses what much of the world lives in! We will open gifts and enjoy being with family. We will anticipate the birth of a new family member, and trust the Lord to bring him at just the right time. Our prayer is that our boys will enjoy the physical comforts that God has given us, and be thankful for them because they come out of God’s grace. But more importantly, we pray that they will understand that their greatest need is for salvation – to have their sins forgiven and become God’s children.
“Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King!”