“The cradle call us to come away from the busyness of the world – to rediscover the holy, unhurried life of a child, and to discover that as we pour ourselves into the lives of our little ones, life overflows in return. For the cry of a baby in the middle of the night is not simply a summons to change a diaper – it contains within it more than our ears can hear. It is a call to leave the cozy self-interest of our warm beds; to come, saying no to a thousand voices that tell us to remain where we are comfortable. It is a call to come away from ourselves. No one who has ever heeded this call will tell you it was in vain”
Michael’s words were meant to describe the experience of being a parent…but they ring so true for us all, and they come to mind each year as I get ready to celebrate Jesus birth. The night God broke into history to show us how much He loves us, He didn’t arrive as the scholars had all thought. There was no white stallion – it was a lowly donkey, being ridden by a young, unwed mother and her fiance. There were no servants, or handmaids to assist, just a safe place where the animals were kept. No one to hand out birth announcements, but there were angels – an army of angels the Scriptures tell us – to invite all of God’s creation, to come to the cradle.
I don’t think that the song, as lovely as it is, Silent Night quite gets the picture of the stable right. Jesus was born fully human, be assured that he was a “real” baby…that means crying. I imagine that as one who help create the vastness of the stars, he had a full cry, and I’m sure he used it. But, just as Mary will have had to respond to her Son’s call – so must we.
Jesus, still today, ask us to leave our cozy self-interest, and to say no to the thousand voices telling us not to go. He does call us away from ourselves, and calls us to be closer to Him. When we answer that call – nothing stays the same. We are able to see the world through His eyes, to care with His heart and to serve with His hands. As you celebrate the Christmas, listen for the call from the cradle, and answer with “I’m right here”, and hear Him answer, “I’ve been waiting – just for you”.