(*Photo of the Month)
Last month here in New Mexico, I did something I hadn’t done in years – I baptized a newborn baby. These many years as an administrative exec in the Covenant denomination have not allowed that blessed opportunity very often, which was so frequently mine as a local pastor years ago. But now I’m serving in transitional ministry back in a local church; so imagine my delight to be asked by members to officiate their daughter’s baptism! To make matters even better, this coming Sunday we are doing three baptisms by immersion in the church, two on new confession of faith. I feel like I have died and gone to heaven.
Baby Ruth was born back in June nearly eight weeks early, at a slight three pounds and thirteen ounces. Since then she has grown amazingly, to the point where she now seems to me on par with others her age, a lovely and dimple-smiley little one who charmed the worshipers the day of her baptism. During a visit several months back, her father showed me a photo I fell in love with; I asked for a copy thinking I might use it on my blog some day. When I came across it this week it arrested me, and spoke loudly that it was to be this month’s photo of the month.
For one reason, it reminded me of the miracle growing inside my second daughter, her first child. Sarah keeps an app on her phone that tells her how large her and BJ’s baby has grown in comparison with a fruit or vegetable: this week s/he’s a sweet potato. Now, I have seen some enormous and some small potatoes of the sweet variety, so I’m not sure how this particular app figures these things out. But what do I know? I just accept it and chuckle. The day Sarah told us, two and a half months ago, the baby was but a pecan…
But of course, there’s another reason why the photo has struck me, why I’ve found myself snatching views of Ruth this week and contemplating her incredible beauty and the wonder of her existence. We are thinking much these days about another baby, born also in something of emergency circumstances, but without the same sanitary hospital appurtenances, to an unwed teenaged mother and a mystified surrogate father in humble, obscure and unheralded conditions. Yet, all the world over, this child’s birth is celebrated this coming week. Faith in this baby, “…born a child and yet a king…” according to the Advent carol Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, has become the center of my life and that of countless others.
So I commend this child to your consideration, he who would become the Prince of Peace -- for the world, for me, for Ruth, for you.
~~ RGM, December 19, 2014