You just might be a grandpa if… a sweet grandchild accidentally spills grape juice on your $90.00 Brooks Brothers tie and you could care less! Oh, it’s true and if you listen closely you can hear grandpa’s everywhere saying Amen! I clearly remember a Christmas morning ten years ago when our sweet little granddaughter was with us on her very first Christmas morning and though everyone in the house had presents with gift tags bearing their names, their gifts remained unopened for the longest time. Nothing mattered, but the baby! Again, I say…It’s all about the baby!
This is also true of the very first Christmas! This season, this day, and this story we celebrate, the Christmas story… It’s all about the baby! Ask the shepherds they could tell you. They probably would have described in great detail the angels appearing to them as they watched their flocks. At some point however in sharing the events of that night with family and friends they would tell you about the baby, and perhaps recount the moment they first beheld him when they arrived at the manger.
You could ask the Magi about the moment they first saw the star in the east, ask them about the royal treatment they received in the palace of Herod the king. They may even tell you of the excitement the moment they drew near to the small town of Bethlehem. They would gladly share their story but at some point, their words would focus on the moment they saw the baby!
Just imagine the first glimpse of baby Jesus by Mary and Joseph? They of all people knew that he was truly God’s son. Promised to Mary in her meeting with Gabriel and confirmed to Joseph in a dream. But that moment they saw him. That first moment they saw the baby. God’s promise fulfilled, God’s dream come true, and mankind’s greatest hope laying there looking into their eyes. It was and still is all about the baby!
The Promise had come to pass. In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applies the modern science of probability to just eight prophecies regarding Christ. He says, “The chance that any man might have …fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in 10 to the 17th. That would be 1 in one hundred quadrillion. That’s a 1 with 17 0’s attached! Stoner suggests that “we take 10 to the 17th silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state 2 feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly… Blindfold a man and tell him he can travel
as far as he wishes, but he must pick up [that one marked silver dollar.] What chance would he have of getting the right one?” Stoner concludes, “Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man…providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.” In a day and time where we hear the words billion and trillion bantered about without hesitation, quadrillion is a bit staggering! But that’s what God does when he keeps His promise. What is impossible with man is possible with God! And though it is staggering and overwhelming for the world to comprehend… it is true!
The promise of the prophets is true, and the hope of mankind is still alive though many miss the baby this time of year. It was George Bernard Shaw, perhaps most renowned as a free thinker and liberal philosopher who in his last writings confessed, “The science to which I pinned my faith is bankrupt. Its counsels, which should have established the millennium, led, instead, directly to the suicide of Europe. I believed them once. In their name, I helped to destroy the faith of millions of worshippers in the temples of a thousand creeds. And now they look at me and witness the great tragedy of an atheist who has lost his faith.” You see my friend because of the baby it doesn’t have to be so. We can have his promise and we can experience his hope.
One last thing that stands out to me is this, those eyes are still looking. Though many have forgotten and though millions have never been taught about this baby in a manger named Jesus… he still looks their way. Though experts have tried to deny his existence or defeat his purpose he still casts a watchful gaze. That is precisely why he came. He came for me and for you, for the seeking and for the satisfied, for the rich and for the poor he watches and longs for each of his creation to experience him. For you see if you miss the baby you miss who Jesus is and why he came. The wonderful and joyous promise is still real. Hope is still alive and those eyes are still looking. Never forget, it’s all about the baby!
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Director of Ministry for the Family Research Council. He can be reached at 740-935-1406