At our house, “the baby” gets held.
The baby gets held because that’s what you do.
The baby gets held because, like all our children, she’s a treasure…and we want to.
We want to hold her.
Sometimes, though, we have needs. We have pressing concerns. We have duties that need to be addressed with some urgency.
We have a life, too.
When that happens, whoever is holding the baby goes to “the other”…whomever the closest “other” is at the moment…and says, “Could you hold her for a minute? I really have to….(fill in the blank).”
And we make the “handoff” and someone else is holding the little hot potato for a while.
(I’m kidding about “hot potato”…that conjures up bad images of babies flying through the air, “HOT POTATO!!! HOT POTATO!!! HOT POTATO!!!”…”adults” laughing as they pass the infant quickly from one set of hands to another. We don’t do that…I don’t encourage that.)
We don’t play “hot potato” with Sparrow….parenting isn’t some kind of weird game.
I know that.
But I digress.
What I was really thinking about saying was that, while I was driving package after package after package after package yesterday (it was actually a lot more monotonous to do it than to read it …if you can imagine that), I wondered if Mary ever had any moments where she said, “Can you hold Him for a minute?”
“Can you hold Him for a minute.”
“Joseph! Joseph! Come quick! I need to ….(fill in the blank). Can you hold Jesus for a minute while…”
We don’t think of the situation like that. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were a different sort of family, right? Divinity excuses you from being a real human being, right?
And if we can arrive at the conclusion that they were somehow outside of the normal human experience, then we don’t really have to consider them as anything more than a nice Nativity scene…or a really pretty picture.
That’s a little easier for us to pass off as just another “sideline interest” or “part of my life” than being constantly aware of the humanity of this new little baby and his young parents.
We might identify too closely for our own comfort if we tried to really “flesh out” the story of Christ’s birth.
I don’t know if Mary ever put the baby Jesus down. Maybe she held him all the time? I never heard about that part.
Maybe the issue of “could you hold Him…?” never came up.
From what I understand, Joseph was a stand-up kind of guy. He was there for her when she needed him. I’m sure he would have helped her if she needed someone to hold Jesus for a minute.
The Bible doesn’t talk about that part of Jesus’ childhood.
Maybe it talks about it some in Luke? I don’t remember…Luke seems to fill in some of the holes, but I don’t remember that being one of the revelations about Jesus’ life that the disciples talked about.
Tonight we celebrate the birth of a little, vulnerable, precious little human baby named Jesus. All over the world, people celebrate this event. We celebrate God made Man. What could be a bigger deal than that? What could be a more profoundly moving miracle than that? It’s amazing.
And we also celebrate the love we have for our families and friends with the presents we give…and the presents we get…at Christmas.
That’s part of our Christmas celebration,too.
Christmas is pretty cool all the way around.
I can “hold onto” that thought for a lifetime.
“Don’t turn Me into memory or myth.”
“Real” is a song by Nichole Nordeman.