What’s interesting to me about Christmas is that the man who saved the world from the soul-destroying power of sin started life as a helpless baby. He slipped into history unnoticed and overlooked, I suppose, but his anonymity didn’t last more than a few hours.
According to the Christmas stories in the Bible, he was visited by both angels and people; Herod, the Roman administrator of the town where he was born, when he couldn’t locate him, gave orders to kill all boys under two, because the stories visitors were telling scared him.
People are afraid of babies. It’s not unusual. Sometimes—from ancient history until now—people kill them; who knows why? Everyone has their reasons. An ex-girlfriend once called to tell me she was pregnant. At the time, it seemed like the worst news of my life.
Yesterday, the child she carried—the baby who changed everything in everyone’s lives—won an amateur golf tournament in Florida. He will be celebrating Christmas with us in a few days.
The first time I saw Billy Lee Junior—a few months after he was born—I knew he carried my genes. The love I felt—in a doctor’s office of all places—came close to killing me; my heart pounded almost out of my chest when first I saw his beautiful face; his perfect feet; his tiny toes.
Jesus lived into his thirties before the prejudices and hatreds of his era coalesced to destroy him. He told us why he was born; he came to save the world, not judge it, he said. He came to bear witness to the truth—that God is love, as the Bible says.
Somehow, by some miracle, I know it’s true.