By Guest Blogger Alexander LeGuillou
“For unto you is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” –Luke 2: 11-12
The idea of a baby savior must have startled the shepherds of Judea: a small, tender infant to save humanity and bring the Kingdom down to earth. Babies need so much. They need care and attention. They need food, shelter, and clothing, but they also need to be swaddled and held and comforted. These shepherds must have been perplexed, if not reticent. How could a baby overthrow a tyrant and establish a kingdom? Because babies need so much care, they also require selflessness, compassion, and care. They force us to look beyond our ideals and our agendas, and invite us to empathize with their needs, their growth, and their development. They need to be fed, held, and of course swaddled. The magi understood this; those we know as kings adored and served a baby. When you let this truth in, a baby is the perfect savior.
Did you find the title “Savior-Baby”’ offensive, awkward, or just kind of icky? It was a risky decision, and some might find it off-putting and uncomfortable. If you do, spend some time reflecting on how the news in Luke’s gospel might have sat with the shepherds and the people of Judea. What hopes and expectations did they have to suspend in order to hear the news? How would have the news of a baby offended their sensibilities and disrupted their hopes and expectations? In today’s world celebrating a baby savior seems impractical, frustrating even. Yet, during this season of Advent we’re invited to live into this mystery of faith and hope, and to share the joy of expectation with others. May it be so. In Jesus’ name.