In thinking about Advent, I find it beautiful how Jesus as our King chose to come into the world as a child – one of the most vulnerable stages of life possible.
Our culture (which values independence and empowerment like crazy) kind of scoffs at the idea of a baby being so utterly powerful. After all, we’re supposed to be fiercely empowered people who know how to be the boss. You know how important those pantsuits are! But the greatest gift of all, the most powerful creature of all, chose to come to us in terms we could see and understand in no other form than a baby.
A baby is helpless. And as many people remind us, babies are completely dependent on their parents. So why would Jesus chose to come into the world so vulnerable? He’s the ultimate boss of life. Why would he submit himself in the guise of a child?
At least for me, I see so much hope in the eyes of a baby. Maybe you like kids. Maybe you don’t. I really do love kids, and one of my favorite things ever is to just be with babies. You just hold them, and they trust you. They haven’t grown to know the hurt of the world yet. And for that moment? Everything is beautiful. You hold this precious itty-bitty life that has so much potential. The possibilities are endless.
On my closet door I have one of those sticky vinyl lettering decorations that reads “Every child is a story yet to be told” with tons of pictures around it from different aspects and times of my life with people I know and love. It reminds me to think about other people, and to remember that we all have a story.
And right now, we only know part of our stories.
When we’re babies, we know even less of the story. The possibilities and hope are there, though. You never know what that person was created to be and do. It’s pretty awe-inspiring when I think about it.
Jesus came into the world not only as probably one of the cutest babies ever, but also to eventually save us. And if you ask me, there probably isn’t a situation that is filled with more hope than that. Let Fulton Sheen illustrate this by saying:
“It was not enough that the Son of God should come down from the heavens and appear as the Son of Man, for then He would have been only a great teacher and a great example, but not a Redeemer. It was more important for Him to fulfill the purpose of the coming, to redeem man from sin while in the likeness of human flesh. Teachers change men by their lives; Our Blessed Lord would change men by His death. The poison of hate, sensuality, and envy which is in the hearts of men could not be healed simply by wise exhortations and social reforms. The wages of sin is death, and therefore it was to be by death that sin would be atoned for.”
It’s not to be somber necessarily, but to remember the reason why Jesus came in the first place. He came to save us, and accomplished that by first being born of our Blessed Mother.
We’re told that to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must become like children. And that might seem weird because children don’t know much, right? Sure, in a worldly sense maybe they don’t. But kids have an incredible intuition. And much of the time they can figure out who to trust. There’s a beauty in that vulnerability and weakness that our world despises, because it forces us to abandon our selfishness.
And that’s why Jesus coming as a child is so powerful: there is beauty in weakness. Through it, others are changed by helping those who need help. And those who need help are changed by allowing others to do things for them.
Let’s remember this Advent season that it’s okay to lean on other people, and to allow ourselves to become like children in a way.
Jesus did, and I’d be willing to bet he’s a pretty good role model.
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For more advent posts, be sure to check out Beth Anne’s link-up!