One of the biggest concerns of parenting is keeping you children safe. When you become a parent the world changes. People you don’t know become STRANGERS (with a dark and sinister motives), electric sockets become LIVE WIRES (that threaten to electrocute your kid) and the stove becomes an INFERNO of DEATH (that threatens to burn or scald your child should they even look sideways at it). Ok… Ok… Maybe I have an overactive imagination, but you get the point. Part of parenting is keeping kids safe. It starts with the prenatal vitamins and goes from there.
This is all fresh for me because my wife and I just had the opportunity of welcoming our son (second child) into the world a few short days ago. It has been an emotional journey to say the least. Everything about the birth and delivery process was about as routine and casual as having a baby can get. But as I read the Christmas story over the last few days a few things stuck out to me like never before.
1. Taking on the Risk of Giving (Luke 2:1-7)
For all practical purposes Jesus was born in a homeless shelter. There was no room for them in the Inn at Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph were travelers and though it was the place of Joseph’s lineage they were most likely strangers in town.
Mary and Joseph followed God even in the midst of what must have been a scary and troubling situation. I am inspired by their courage to trust God through temporary circumstances in order to welcome Jesus into this world. It was risky. But I guess that is the point I am trying to make. Jesus didn’t come to be safe, but to save. Jesus wasn’t Mary and Josephs kid to hold on to, but to give away to the world.
It would be easy to look at my children born under different circumstances thousands of years and miles later and think it is all different for me. Certainly my children won’t die on a cross for the sins of the world. But maybe the were intended for more than me. Psalm 127 compares children to arrows. Arrows were not intended to remain in the quiver, but to be launched at the Enemy. Maybe children aren’t the kind of blessing you keep, but they are the kind of blessing you give and that involves risk.