I’ve had the picture of the Savior at Christmas being a baby in a manger but haven’t taken time to really understand that He came as a child. I have had pictures in my mind of the baby Jesus in the nativity scene, surrounded by the wise men, shepherds, Mary, and Joseph. But He was a child before He grew into a man.
Imagine, God Himself, growing and playing with the neighbourhood kids. Perhaps they played versions of soccer, hide and seek, and tag. Since Jesus was the oldest in His family, I wonder if He behaved like the oldest brother by teasing and hassling His younger siblings? Did He have foods that He favoured over others? Did He clean up after Himself?
He was born Emmanuel, God with us, and God came as a child.
We’ve often quoted Mark 10:14 where Jesus says, “…Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” But have we really understood what it means to come as a child?
When the Son of God came as a child, He came in the most unassuming, unimpressive, and innocent way. There was no fanfare or special treatment for the King of kings. He didn’t insist on being recognised or have His bags carried for Him. Children come without conditions; they simply enter into a room looking for those who will embrace them.
“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child himself.” Charles Dickens
With all of the normal activity that surrounds this season, it’s easy to forget the humble history of Christmas. Its “mighty founder” came as a child. Before He grew to fill His assignment, He lived as a child. This is why He had the authority and understanding to tell us to come to His Kingdom as “little children.”
We often say that Christmas is the season for children, and for sure there’s nothing like seeing the sparkle in our children’s eyes as we see it at Christmastime. But, as we grow up, we tend to lose that sparkle as “life happens.”
When did we lose sight of the fact that things aren’t really all that complicated? Family issues, financial complications, marital struggles, all seem to cloud our understanding. When we come to Him as children and leave our struggles with Him, we can trust that He will guide us through to their resolution.
The key to it all is coming, like the Saviour did at the first Christmas, as children.
As we celebrate the season, you might be facing some very complicated and seemingly unsolvable problems. Simple as it may sound, take those problems to the Lord. He is waiting to embrace you and all that you have without precondition. Give your cares to Him and, as a child, trust that He will be with you and take you through.