21 December 2010

Of Grace

I heard a song for the first time this Christmas.  It begins with the lines:

"A teenage girl, much too young
Unprepared for what's to come
A baby changes everything."

These words led me on a thought path (you know how it goes) of reminiscence in how, indeed, our babies changed everything in our lives.  Diapers.  Spit-up.  Nursing.  Crawling.  Toys.  Pureed carrots.  Bibs.  So many little things that we had never before considered were now consuming our lives.  Indeed, babies change so much about us.

As my mind meandered, I was pulled back into the song with the final verse:

"My whole life was turned around.
I was lost but now am found.
A baby changes everything."


What truth. 

Babies do change everything.  But this baby, the son of no man, did not just bring into the life of his young mother worry about bath-time, feeding schedules or runny noses. 


Redeeming grace.  A direct line to our Creator.  Truth.  Life. 

This baby, indeed, changed everything.

Our pastor's wife (a most beautiful woman in every conceivable way) recently changed the song "Silent Night" for me by giving prominence to the words of the second verse: "Radiant beams from Thy Holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace."  The dawn.  The beginning.

The world knew nothing of grace before this one baby changed everything.  With His arrival, God's relationship with His creation changed forever.  I've often discussed in Sunday School or Bible Study the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  We no longer sacrifice spotless lambs.  We have no need for a priest as intercessor.  The Old Testament law was fulfilled and is no longer a laundry list of tasks, rules or regimented commands for us as believers.  We live by faith.  By grace.  By the Holy Spirit living within us.  A concept never fathomed by those of the Old Testament.

These things I have known.

But I never truly dwelt on the fact that Christmas is the celebration of that change. This shift between Old Testament Law and New Testament Grace was not a gradual re-molding of God's design for the church.  It happened in one short lifetime.  A lifetime that began on that one holy night in Bethlehem. 

A baby changed everything.

A baby was the light of revelation to we the Gentiles - to allow those born outside of God's chosen people to come to Him and be enveloped in His love.

This baby is the reason we celebrate.  This change, this grace, is the reason I sing.  Glory to God in the highest.  And on earth, peace to men, on whom His favor truly rests.

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