Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Baby Jesus and Everything That Entailed

I distinctly remember the moment I understood (or more correctly began to understand) what it meant for Jesus to become man.

It was about this time of year in 1984 and I was watching the TV movie "The Best Christmas Pagent Ever". The (very) basic story line is this - there is a church that holds the same pagent every year. The same little (diva) girl has been Mary for a number of years; they've always used a live infant as baby Jesus...until this year.

A family of ne'er do well children decide they want to be in the pagent. The one sister threatens "Mary" in the rest room and so she concedes her coveted role to the little thug. Now the actress formerly "Mary" is merely a member of the heavenly host of angels.

Of course, the mothers of all the infants refuse to allow their babies to be handled by the thug so now Jesus has to be played by a doll.

Somewhere during the rehearsals, the little thug undergoes a transformation. She starts to understand her role as the mother of theChrist child. During the pagent, she picks up the (doll) baby Jesus, puts him to her shoulder and starts to gently pat his back, as any mother would. Little diva-girl snidely remarks to her other heavenly host of angels "Look at her; she's burping him like he has the colic!".

At this point I realized, He probably did have colic. God also had dirty diapers, had to eat strained peas, threw up on His mom and dad, was totally helpless and reliant on human beings for His everyday living. How humbling for the Almighty. And that was just the first year of His earthly life. He still had his toddler years ahead of Him - and puberty, adolescence, young adulthood. And with what to look forward to but death on the cross.

It would be sad to end on this note, but He also knew what lay beyond the humbling experiences and the suffering, too. Learning this part of His humanity helps me to understand what lies beyond, as well.

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