It’s a story about a baby boy. I had a baby boy once. He’s 14 now and pushing 6’2”, but he really was a baby once.
He was born in December of 2002, and in March of the following year we went to war with Iraq…again.
Right after the war began, if you
remember, a maintenance company was ambushed. It was the 507th Maintenance Company, and 6 soldiers were taken captive.
I remember rocking my baby boy and listening to the news and thinking, “Those are somebody’s baby boys and baby girls.” And I looked down at my sweet little baby and thought, “No, please, never.”
One of them was Patrick Miller, a welder from Kansas. Al Jazeera interviewed him during his captivity and wanted to know, “Why did you come to Iraq?”
And he replied, “I come to fix broke stuff.”
Two thousand odd years ago, a baby boy was born. He came to fix broke stuff, too. Only the broke stuff was us.
Since the beginning, we’ve been hurting one another and hurting ourselves in the process, completely oblivious to the damage we’re inflicting. When confronted with our wrongdoing, we’ve been more likely to deny it than face up to what we’ve done. Be it mother and daughter, sister and brother, or nation and nation, our capacity to do damage to one another has been seemingly endless.
So, God sent the prophets. Did we listen? Maybe a little, but not for long. He sent a flood, He sent kings, He armies. Nothing worked; nothing knocked the sense into us; nothing inspired a true and lasting change of heart. So, in one last ditch effort, He sent…a baby.
What good is a baby? A newborn baby does nothing. Babies sleep, and they eat. They cry. They do a few others things I won’t mention, but mostly they eat and sleep. They can’t walk or talk. They can’t hold themselves upright. They can’t even roll over. Babies are helpless, and, yet, a baby is how God came to save the world.
Well, of course, you say, Jesus didn’t stay a baby forever. He grew up. He became a boy and then a man. He confronted political and religious authority; he confronted sin itself, wherever he saw it. He got himself into trouble for it, and he was betrayed.
He ended his life, on a cross, appearing every bit as helpless as he did in the manger.
As we leave this place this morning, and head back to the Christmas of toys and travel and holiday cookies, let it be our joy always to make room for this this baby, this man, this Savior, in our lives. Let’s have His name be on our lips in the midst of our crowded days and busy schedules, so, when we return to this place next year, we will recognize Him as our Lord and as our friend.