Who Would Bring A Child Into This World
The year was 1990. My wife and I had traveled from South Eastern Manitoba back to Alberta to make a very special delivery to our family. I will never forget sitting in my grandmother’s living room to present her with a wonderful gift – the news of the impending arrival of a baby. Not her first great grandchild, but our first child. We were so excited, and most of our family with us. But my grandmother asked us this question, “Why would you bring a child into this world?”
Grandma had lived a long, and at times, very difficult life. I suspect her question was motivated in part by her life experience, but also by what she saw in the world around her. It was not that she did not have any joy, or that she had any regrets regarding her own family. It was her way of observing the broken nature of the world into which we were bringing a new, fragile, innocent life. Nevertheless, we knew it was the right thing to do. 30 years later we are even more convinced that our decision was the right one, despite my grandmother’s concerns.
Our world is no less broken in 2020 than it was in 1990. It would seem to be in much worse shape. And yet we continue to celebrate the arrival of new life into this world despite the sad state of our world. Why?
In his 1942 devotional Abundant Living, E. Stanley Jones, Methodist doctor and missionary to India, made a great point. He said that the early Christians did not say in dismay: “Look what the world has come to.” I’m sure they could have, just as we could, for the state of affairs then was no less disconcerting than today. But they said something different. Not “look what the world has come to” but “Look what has come to the world.”
There is real hope simply because a child came into this world. Not just any child, and not just any parent – but a very specific child – the one we celebrate at Christmas.
It is hard to believe that the creator God would choose to not simply bring a child into this broken world, but that a holy, perfect, God would himself become that child. And by so doing He has provided hope because through his life, death and resurrection God brought healing and peace to all who will accept it. It was worth the trip! God did this to give love, because He is love incarnated.
Who would bring a child into this world? God said “I will.” And because He did there is hope bigger than the brokenness. The brokenness of our world doesn’t need to dictate our choices or direct our lives. It cannot drain our hope or eliminate love. Our lives can instead be directed and determined by that baby’s eventual work to provide eternal hope through a restored relationship with the living God. Our world needed that baby. That is why God chose to be that baby in this world. And that birth announcement deserves nothing but celebration. This Christmas we may struggle with the difficulty of this year, but hope and love and joy are still alive and well because of Him. So let’s celebrate, any way we can!
Professor of Marketplace and Ministry Leadership