A baby at Christmas

Published 1:09 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2023

It’s my granddaughter’s first Christmas.

She’s the first grandchild for all of her grandparents, and the first great-grandchild for my parents and my daughters’ maternal grandparents. This little girl will likely be the center of attention for all of us.

Ha! No, she definitely will. No “likely” to it.

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Aurea will be just over 10 months old come Christmas Day, and she may be walking around by then. She’s already been pulling up on stuff, standing unassisted, and trying to climb things on her own. We’re definitely going to have to keep a few eyes on her.

I can see both her mother and father in little Aurea’s face. As she grows and matures, I’m sure I’ll begin to see mannerisms and personality traits that mimic her parents in some ways, too.

We have Christmas because of a baby. He was born a couple of thousand years ago. The Bible — a great book to read, by the way — is a record of that baby, Jesus of Nazareth. The Old Testament points toward His birth. The New Testament records His birth, ministry, death and resurrection. It also points ahead to His ultimate return.

We probably don’t celebrate Christmas at the time Jesus was actually born, the way we’d celebrate our own birthdays. But the point is to celebrate it, all the same. People didn’t begin to celebrate His birthday in the way we do today until long after He ascended into heaven, but when Jesus was born it was at the perfect time.

The Bible tells us so. “But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son,” is what St. Paul wrote in a letter to the Church at Galatia (Galatians 4:4). That’s what the New International Version says. Other versions say something like, “fullness of the time,” “completion of the time,” or “the right time.” It all means the same. It was definitely the right, perfect time when Jesus came.

He is my Lord, my Savior, and I hope He is yours, too. If not, He can be if you let Him.

We do ourselves a great injustice (as well as to Him) to keep Jesus in our minds only as a baby in a manger in a nativity scene, but we also do ourselves an injustice to ignore that part of His life. He was born as the Son of God, and Son of Man (a title of the Messiah), a son of the flesh of Mary.

Could Mary see herself in her baby’s face? Could she see His Father’s face, in a sense? As Jesus grew, did He mimic the way Mary or Joseph walked? Did they see character and personality traits they recognized?

This very real boy became a very real man who was also very much God Himself.

As I watch Aurea pull herself up on the furniture, laugh at the dog and try to grab the cat, guzzle down her milk, or rub her sleepy eyes this Christmas, I am already appreciating the great wonder of a baby born to save us all.

Thank you, Jesus, for my granddaughter! And thank you, Jesus, for YOU.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.