A baby changes everything!
Can't you see the headlines of the Bethlehem Herald?
A baby, who is to be the Messiah, was born last night in a dirty, grungy manger out back of the hotel because there was no room for him. No one was willing to give up their room for the teenager ready to give birth to a baby, so the hotel manager sent them out to the stables.
For Mary and Joseph, that baby changed everything.
For the next 33 years, that baby changed everything around him as he grew and ministered to the people of his day.
That baby still changes everything - this Jesus we worship and celebrate! He has changed everything for me and has done the same thing for a lot of people in my world.
A few examples for you this Christmas:
This morning, in my inbox, I find a message from one of my dear friends with a link to a Youtube file that simply reads "Thinking and praying" for an individual who is close to me. Legions of people in my Christian community are praying for this person - the number of prayers would certainly bring him to his knees if he had any idea how many people were petitioning our Savior on his behalf.
The Youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvwtyJxExDo is a video of a song by Faith Hill called: A Baby Changes Everything.
The life of my friend who, in the midst of everything he has going on in his world is thinking and praying for someone in mine, is a shining example of someone whose life - whose heart - this baby has changed.
• Another example, from just this morning, is one I will share with you. My wife and I own small businesses. One of the ventures we publish is in a community 45 minutes from here. Two employees were out of town, one works from home most days and the main receptionist called at 6:30 a.m. to tell me she was sick and unable to make it in.
After swinging and missing at a couple of solutions, God led me to a call someone from my Christian community. Explaining the situation and how I wondered if I could hire her to answer the phone for a day, she said, "I will do it. Absolutely, but you are not paying me for it. If I can't do a favor for you without you paying me, I won't do it."
"I love you," I simply said.
"Don't think anything of it, I am happy to help."
Trying to argue over the whole money thing, she interrupts...
"Love you...have a good day!"
Another life that has been changed by this baby. We have known each other for years, but this baby whose birth we celebrate this week, has united us and grown a love for one another and His kingdom that can only be explained in Jesus.
And how about when Jesus shows up in a ballcap? Another individual who would testify that this baby changes everything dropped by Saturday with a $25 gift card to Applebee's that he wanted me to deliver to someone in Rock Valley - someone that God laid on our hearts moments after he left. You can read more about this at the link above, or read what Jennifer has posted over at Getting Down With Jesus.
This Jesus in a ballcap is someone of modest means, but "this baby" changed everything in his life, so much so that he followed the Spirit's prompting and scratched out 28 names of willing elves in some 30 seconds who God would use to spread $700 of Christmas cheer this week.
A baby changes everything!
He has for a mother whose son is in prison. He has for a group of guys who were willing to spend a weekend behind bars because His plans for their lives are not what their plans are.
A baby changes everything, indeed.
As I sit here this afternoon, I am overwhelmed by the number of people I know whose lives have been turned around by this baby. I am overwhelmed by the depths and degree to which this baby has changed everything in my life. What matters, what I think about, what I desire. This baby has changed EVERYTHING!
My prayer during this Christmas week is that a baby changes everything for you. My prayer is that if you are struggling, that this baby would change everything. My prayer is that if you are in a good place, that you still might let this baby change everything, that he might lead you in directions and ways you never imagined.
The last verse of this Faith Hill song says:
"My whole life has turned around,
I was lost but now I'm found,
A baby changes everything,
A baby changes everything!"
May it be true for me, may it be true for you!
"An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' - "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
Luke 2:9-12, 15