A child is coming! Well, two children are coming! My daughter and son-in-law will be picking up his niece and nephew this weekend and raising them as their own. Betsy is two and Bobby is one. Their parents are both struggling with addiction and decided they can’t handle the responsibilities of parenthood. Their mother’s family decided Joy and Tony would be the perfect people to raise them since their mother has left them.
We are all so excited to welcome two new children into the family. And it seems such a perfect time of year, as we await the birth of the Christ child, to await the arrival of these two children as well. Here are two young lives full of possibilities and hope, who will join two older brothers (ages 9 and soon-to-be-6) and a community eager to welcome them.
It wasn’t quite the same for the Baby Jesus. Mary and Joseph were excited, of course. And Elizabeth rejoiced. But town of Nazareth didn’t rejoice for Mary’s miracle. And the young family was forced to flee to Egypt for two years after the birth due to Herod’s displeasure.
But we rejoice now because we know the rest of the story. Jesus’ birth is good news. His life and his mission, God’s kingdom on earth, are the best news. And every new child is a reason to rejoice. “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” Luke 1:14-15 Elizabeth was given this promise about the birth of John.
Every child has the potential to be great in the sight of God. It is our privilege and responsibility to help them be so. “Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.” Proverbs 22:6 Walking with the Lord, being kind, sharing fellowship with other believers, living our faith will all help shape our children in positive ways. And, thanks be to God, we have a new opportunity to do so every day. It is never too late.
We thank you, Dear God, for the gift of children, and the chance to spread your word and your love to them and through them. Give us the strength to do so with wisdom and patience. We thank you, too, for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, the living example of how to live in this world. May we be filled with His gift of the Holy Spirit today and every day, so that we may continue Your work in this World. Amen.