“Little Baby Boy”
Advent is upon us and Christmas is coming soon. It is a special time in the broader culture we inhabit, largely for commercial reasons. It is a special time for us at Second Baptist Church because of its spiritual significance.
Advent comprises the four Sundays preceding Christmas. It is a season of anticipation, expectation, and preparation for the coming of Christ. Scriptures traditionally read during this time include passages about the Second Coming of Christ, which we actively anticipate by doing God’s will; passages about John the Baptist, who prepares the way for the Savior by preaching repentance; and passages about Emmanuel, “God with us,” who is Christ in the flesh.
As we prepare for Christmas by purchasing gifts and decorating trees, we can also prepare by doing God’s will, repenting of sin, and celebrating the gift of Emmanuel, God with us.
Of course, the story of Christ’s birth is only the beginning of the gospel narrative which encompasses Jesus’ life, teachings, ministry, death, and resurrection. The broader culture emphasizes the birth of Christ apart from the rest of the story, for we don’t see nearly the same fanfare around the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. But in the context of Christian faith, Christmas is simply the start of God’s incarnational activity on earth.
As believers, when we consider the holy child in the manger, we can remember how he grew up to teach us the truth, to reach out to the left out, to love the unlovable, to bring healing to the hurting, to preach and practice peace, to overcome the power of evil, to die on the cross for our sins, to conquer death by rising from the grave, and to grant us everlasting life.
Some years ago, my Dad challenged me to write a Christmas song. I took him up on it and wrote a song called “Little Baby Boy.” As I wrote about Jesus’ birth, I realized that I couldn’t separate it from his adulthood. The song seeks to celebrate the baby Jesus in the context of what he grew up to do. I thought I’d share it with you in case it might provide encouragement during this holy season. You can listen to it below, if you’d like.
My prayer is that each of us would sense the love of God this Christmas as we renew our commitment to Christ.
Pastor Noel Schoonmaker