These words of Isaiah 9 have never had such intimate and personal meaning to me as it has this year. There is something about having a child right before Christ—and a son in particular—that makes them have that much more gravity to them. Just 5 days ago, our 5th child was born. Isaac Jeffrey. He is incredible. He makes me laugh. He’s a phenomenal gift from God.
Holding my son in one arm and a candle in the other during the Christmas Eve service that we attended was an experience that I will not soon forget. You can talk all you want about the Word become flesh and Jesus becoming a child, but when you hold a 4-day old baby in your arms while contemplating the birth of the Messiah, it just takes on such a deeper meaning. I actually had the thought: “Jesus became like this.” So tiny. So fragile. So vulnerable. That is truly love: willing to become weak, fragile, and vulnerable, solely for the benefit of another. Thank you Jesus. Love certainly came down at Christmas.
And Isaac’s actual brith—which was an incredible experience—has caused me to pause and wonder at all of it. After witnessing my wife going through the process of labor, I realize that I am in awe of her. She was simply incredible throughout the whole process. But I saw what she went through. I witnessed what she felt. I beheld the results of the curse of sin (“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.” Genesis 3:16 ESV).
This was how Jesus entered the world, through the pain of child-bearing. He came to life through the curse to kill the curse. He entered through the pain so he could drive the all the pain away. I guess all of this is to say that there is something God is showing me the gospel in new and brighter colors this Advent and Christmas, and he’s using this tiny, fragile, vulnerable little baby to do it .