I love the pencil scrawls of a young child. The words are out of proportion, misspelled, and the sentences are incomplete and full of grammar mistakes. But, I love to read and see these early attempts at writing. It is a glimpse into the thoughts of that young child.
Aren’t the imperfections and innocence part of what make it so endearing?
The heart and mind of a young child are innocent. Don’t get me wrong, we are all still born with Adam’s genes and with a sin nature… and that propensity to sin continuously clings closer to us than the best type of cling wrap! But we also are spiritual beings. Our physical bodies will die one day, but our spirits will live in eternity.
We are all born with a sin nature, but the childlike faith and sweet innocence we possessed as children somehow get lost after some years and experience and hardship have taken their toll. It is part of the experience of growing up, maturing and becoming adults. Yet Christ says to us, “come as little children”. He asks us to look at the faith of a young child, and tells us to come to him like that. He wouldn’t ask us to do it if it were impossible; on the contrary, there must be a way for us sophisticated adults with our correct grammar and important agendas to be able to come as a little child. Can you imagine it?
Children have the amazing ability to be fully in the moment. Their young minds are not crowded by the fears of the future or the failures of the past, or what every other person is the room might be thinking about them. They are blissfully uninhibited and un-self-conscious and simply enjoy being in the moment, and are fully into the moment they are in. Have you noticed that the sadness or happiness involved around a small thing can seem so large, but is also quite fleeting? That is a child, living in the moment.
Jesus says we are to come like those little children– he doesn’t mean with those kinds of fleeting emotions, but with their kind of trusting faith.
In fact, Jesus himself came into this world as one of us, as a little baby. He didn’t come to earth as a grown man. Nor did he come as a spiritual being only. He came as a human baby, in the most helpless, fragile, vulnerable way he could have come. God’s son came as a human baby! Perhaps many of us who have grown up with the story of Christmas, sung Christmas carols, seen countless Nativity stories, etc., have lost some of the wonder of that miracle. Jesus, God on earth, came as a baby, in human form!
He had to grow up in the same way that little boys do today. He had to learn how to talk and how to walk. He probably spilled his milk. He probably fell down and scraped his knees and cried because of the pain. The Bible clearly tells us he experienced everything we as humans do. By coming as a human, and growing up, he has the capacity to understand us fully in our humanness.
I am marveling today about that little baby boy, Jesus, God in flesh. It almost sounds trite today, since we are so used to hearing about the baby born at Christmas, but it is an astounding occurrence! A supernatural event. Something that would change the course of human history— and shows us God’s heart for mankind. “God loved us so much He sent His only begotten son…” (John 3:16).
Oh, how sweet the Father’s love for us…what a privilege and joy it is to be able to rest and marvel in the miracle that God made a way for a sinner like me. That is something to be thankful for. No other Christmas gift is needed. His gift of love for me is quite enough for a lifetime…for eternity. That is Christmas!