Baby Jesus is more than baby Jesus.
Before our creation, the God of all things planned His steps carefully to be a blessing to every person. His desire was to make a race (humanity) who would dwell forever in peace and happiness with Him. Such a race must be driven by a genuine concern for others. It had to be driven by love. This love would be expressed to Him and to every other member of humanity.
But love is not love if it is forced upon us or required from us. Love cannot be demanded. It cannot be legislated. It cannot even be expected. The choice must be made from a truly free will. God built that freedom within each of our hearts.
Because He is God, He knows everything. He knew in advance that each of us would struggle with our freedom. Some of us would become overbearing with a desire to claim the will of others. They would force the will of one or many to be directed to themselves for their own pleasure or power.
Some of us would be tempted to direct our will and our commitment to a power other than God. This group wants instant gratification. To accomplish it, they may submit to the overbearing strength of another.
God knew we need an example to show us what love really is. We need to know how to really direct our will to what is right. So God exhibited His free will for our eternal good. He sent Baby Jesus.
Every year we are reminded of the innocence and the fragility of our will freely directed to others in love. We see the Baby in a manger. We, too, will share our love humbly and allow those around us to receive the gift in their own way.
Jesus didn’t force the shepherds to trudge through the darkness to the isolated stable. They were drawn to Him by the promise of the angel choir. In the Baby, they would find peace and goodwill for themselves and for all mankind.
He didn’t force the wise men from the East to travel long distances by night along treacherous trade routes to bring Him expensive gifts. They came to His side to find enlightenment and to worship the Holy King.
You and I are also drawn to the Baby. We are surrounded by the expectations of others, forcing their will on us and trying to force our wills into submission to them. But they have no power over the will totally surrendered to the Baby.
We seek peace. We are drawn to humility. We long to find holiness. We are drawn to God. This year, like every other year, we are drawn to Baby Jesus. We are drawn to Love freely given to us. As we look into the manger, we will respond in our own way.
I pray your way will be to receive the love so freely given to you. Then freely and humbly share it with others.
Happy Birthday, Jesus.
Merry Christmas to all.