Babies Change Everything

When Pope Julius Ist authorized December 25th to be celebrated as the birthday of Jesus in A.D. 353, who would have ever thought that it would become what it is today. When Professor Charles Follen lit candles on the first Christmas tree in America in 1832, who would have ever thought that the decorations would become as elaborate as they are today?

It is a long time since 1832, longer still from 353, longer still from that dark night brightened by a special star in which Jesus the King was born. As we approach December 25th again, in the midst of all the excitement and elaborate decorations and expensive commercialization surrounding Christmas today, we need to pause to consider again the event of Christmas and the person whose birth we celebrate.

Take the year 1809. The international scene was tumultuous. Napoleon was sweeping through Austria; blood was flowing freely. Nobody then cared about babies. But the world was overlooking some extremely significant births. For example, William Gladstone was born that year. He was destined to become one of England's finest Statesman. That same year, Alfred Tennyson was born to an obscure minister and his wife. The baby would one day greatly affect the literary world.

That same year on the American continent the cries of a newborn infant were heard in a rugged log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. The baby's name? Abraham Lincoln. Here in Australia Arthur Edward Kennedy was born and became Governor of Western Australia and later Governor of Queensland.

It was also in 1809 that a physician named Darwin and his wife named their child Charles Robert Darwin. If there had been news broadcasts at that time, I'm certain these words would have been heard: "The destiny of the world is being shaped on an Austrian battlefield today." But history was actually being shaped in the cradles of England, America and Australia. Babies change everything. (Adapted from C Swindoll).

Jesus is the child who changes everything. In a small village in Israel, everyone thought taxation was the big news - when Jesus was born. But a young Jewish woman cradled the biggest news of all: the birth of the Saviour, Emmanuel, God with us. The birth of Jesus transformed the lives of Mary and Joseph. Jesus' birth attracted the attention of wise men from the East, the magi. The news of the birth of Jesus distressed King Herod. The birth of this unique baby was Good News for all people. He is called "Jesus" because he came to save us from our sins.

“God ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.” Acts 10:42–43.

Dr Keith Graham

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