From our Moderator

Every blessing this Christmas and into the New Year.  

 

The prophet Isaiah once said:

 

The wolf will live with the lamb the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together;

and a little child will lead them.

Isaiah 11.6

 

It is Advent, when we look forward to Christmas, the coming of God’s own son into the world as a baby in a manger.

What is amazing is that that baby changed the world. Perhaps we ought not to be surprised, because even ordinary babies have a power to change people, (that is if there ever was an ordinary baby).

 

I have noticed that when a baby is brought into church, everyone turns to look, and afterwards everyone asks if they can see the baby.

It is strange when you consider what a nuisance sometimes babies can be, you would think that everyone would say, “Babies, we have had enough of them, take them away!”

But in fact we all love babies.

 

There is a story about a baby that is older than the story of Jesus, by about 300 years.

It was told by an old Greek man called Herodotus.

 

In those days the famous Greek city of Corinth was ruled by a wealthy and wicked family.

One of the princesses of the family was a young girl called Labda.

When the time came for her to marry, she fell for and married a young man from the city of Petra. Soon she came to be expecting a baby.

However, a prophecy was given to the rulers of Corinth that if the baby was a boy, he would overthrow them and their wicked rule.

Sure enough when the baby was born, it was a little boy.

The rulers of Corinth felt just as king Herod felt when he heard about the birth of Jesus. They decided to have the baby killed.

 

So ten of the fiercest soldiers were chosen, and made to swear an oath secretly that they would kill the child.

Ten soldiers against one baby, what possible chance could he have.

They set out from Corinth and rode to Petra and there they entered the palace with a carefully made up story to get the baby from his unsuspecting mother.

The plan was that the first one to get his hands on the baby would instantly kill him.

Labda was only a young woman and never dreamed that her own relatives might want to harm her child, and so when these soldiers asked to hold the baby for a moment she gave him to them.

However, as the soldier took the baby in his arms, something quite unforeseen happened, The baby looked straight at him, and smiled.

What did he do, he muttered something, and handed the baby to the next man, the baby smiled again. He handed the baby hastily on, and so it went.

 

Each man took the baby, and one look from that smiling face and he handed it to the next.

The last one of these great big soft soldiers gave the baby back to his mother, then with some excuse they all shambled away sheepishly. Ten soldiers who would have not flinched in the face of a Persian army were defeated by a baby.

Labda never did know what the plan was, but in fact the baby grew up and fulfilled the prophecy to overthrow its wicked relatives.

And in that story is a glimpse of the truth in the bible:

“A little child shall lead them “

It certainly led those ten men away from cruelty and wickedness, into right.

 

I think sometimes God sends babies to keep our hearts tender and loving.

Without them we might become hard, and forget to love.

In fact, Jesus himself said,

Unless you become like a child you will never enter the kingdom of God.

Well at this lovely time of year we are celebrating the coming of the one, who changes lives, Jesus the child of God who came as a baby, and grew up to overthrow the evil ruler of this world and bring us peace.

Like those soldiers we just need to allow ourselves to be changed by the God’s own son.

 

Every blessing this Christmas and into the New Year.      David