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Posts Tagged ‘expecting a baby’

This a special time for our daughter and son-in-law. They are expecting their first child on 14th January—only a couple of weeks away now. Of course they are very excited—and so are we! In preparation for this baby’s arrival, our daughter Tina has set up their nursery beautifully. But they have not had to buy a great deal themselves. You see, Tina is a beauty therapist and has been working at the same salon for over seven years now. She has many regular clients, several of whom come in each week for some treatment or other. And these clients are so delighted about her baby and so sad she is leaving that they have gone out of their way to give her the most beautiful and expensive baby gifts. Perhaps you can understand what sort of gifts I mean a little more if I mention that this salon is in a very well off area of Sydney’s North Shore. So now she has beautiful, little baby suits with French labels on them, made out of lovely, soft fabric and so well designed—not to mention fine quality cot sheets and blankets and cute baby toys. But beyond all that even, one client has passed onto her their ‘old’ nursery furniture—a large cot, a matching chest of drawers and a change table. This furniture hardly looks used and is again if the finest quality—we estimate it would cost well over a thousand dollars.

So much excitement. So much preparation. So much delight shown by clients, friends and family members alike in giving our Tina and Kofi these beautiful gifts. This baby will surely be much loved and also very well dressed and well provided for.

All of which has made me think at this special time of year. We have just celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Yes, his arrival had long been anticipated by the Jews as they waited for the coming of their Messiah. And Joseph and Mary must surely have been waiting in awe to see this baby entrusted to them, this one born of the Holy Spirit who was to be the Saviour of the world. But when he did arrive, there was no beautiful, white cot waiting for him or chest of drawers for all his clothes. Instead, this baby was born in a stable and put to bed in a feeding trough. Yes, wise men did come from a long way off to worship him and give him expensive gifts, but before he was too much older, he became a refugee, along with his parents, and had to flee to Egypt, since his life was under threat. I doubt Mary had time to gather many clothes together for this trip or the ability to carry things like change tables.

And later, after this baby had grown up, he found himself despised and rejected by the very people who had anticipated for so long the arrival of their Messiah. Just as there had been no physical room for the Christ child anywhere other than a stable at his birth, so people had no room in their hearts for Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Have you made room in your hearts this Christmas for Jesus Christ, the Son of the Most High? Have I? Or has he again been pushed to the perimeter, perhaps almost cast aside in the midst of all the exciting presents and fine food?

I hope and pray he hasn’t. I hope he sees in my heart more joy at his coming even that the joy with which we will welcome our new grandchild so very soon.

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We currently have a dilemma in our family – and it’s all about whether to open a certain envelope or not. You see, our younger daughter and her husband are expecting their first child in January, so our daughter recently had an ultrasound. As a result, she was asked whether she would like to know the baby’s sex – but she couldn’t decide. If she found out now, she reasoned, she might be disappointed. But if she found out at the moment of birth, she would no doubt be very happy whatever it was! So the baby’s sex was written on a small card and the card placed in an envelope and given to her husband. That way, he could look at it if he wanted to – and so could our daughter, if she changed her mind.

Well, it seems our son-in-law has had a peek, but so far managed to keep it to himself. Our daughter’s boss has also, because she wanted to know what clothes to buy the baby. The envelope was then waved in front of me – I could even see the little card inside it as my daughter held it up to the light. Perhaps it wouldn’t matter if I found out – I would just have to be vigilant and not blurt it out by accident. After all, it would mean I could knit something pink or blue instead of white. In the end, however, I decided against it.

But this whole experience has caused me to reflect on other ‘envelopes’ I’m glad I have opened in my life – my husband’s request to marry him, studying at theological college, the call to serve on a church ministry team, the challenge to write my first novel and, underlying all this, the invitation to believe in Jesus Christ and follow him. What if I had ignored that particular invitation I heard one evening when I was fifteen? What if I had thought it wasn’t for me? What if I had decided it wasn’t important enough to open – or that I could leave it a bit longer?

But would God have offered me a second invitation at another time? I don’t know. And I’m so glad I didn’t decide to wait and find out, because for forty-eight years now I have enjoyed the wonderful presence of God in my life, the wonderful privilege of belonging to God’s family and the wonderful hope that I will be able to spend eternity in heaven.

Yet every day, many people turn down this invitation. Many don’t even bother to open the envelope. They might hold it up to the light for a second, see its shape and wonder about it, but then discard it. And others immediately decide it’s just rubbish and throw it in the bin.

It’s so vital to open this particular ‘envelope’, to see the reconciliation God offers in love to each one of us. In fact, it’s a matter of life and death, of being welcomed into God’s family or not.

He [Jesus] came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:11-12)

I’m so glad I accepted God’s invitation. How about you?

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