Shhh, the Baby is Sleeping

“Shhhh, the baby is sleeping.”

Common words when there is a newborn nearby. We tiptoe. We go around. We turn off the music. We wait to get out the pots and pans. We silence the TV. We whisper. It is as if our whole world is waiting. Fully grown adults rearranging our lives over a few pounds of squirming flesh.

This time of year, do you ever wonder about Mary and Joseph? They gave birth to an influencer who was well known before he was even born. People of all stations rearranged their lives to come see him. Did Mary tell them to be quiet? Did she shush them? I mean, can you shush angels who are singing, “Glory to God in the highest”? Did Joseph step in and tell everyone who came to leave his sleep-deprived wife and sleeping son alone? To come back later?

To think of the holy family as a real-life, young family makes them more authentic. For years, in my mind, they have been set apart, with hardly a tear from labor to lactation. Smooth sailing, with a perfect child who never cried. Even the animals, in my mind’s eye, were clean and quiet, just gazing at the baby…smiling. Do animals smile? In my imaginary picture they do. Mary glowed in her blue robe and Joseph stood beside in his white one. It is the perfect picture, but isn’t a realistic one.

Because the baby was both human and heavenly, his birth was an intersection. Heaven met earth. Angels and shepherds. Peasants and kings. All was quiet, waiting for the first cry, then all heaven broke loose. Redemption was born. There was no shhhhh in the heavenly realm. There was only celebration. The long-awaited plan was made plain. The bridge was born. The restorer of relationship. The giver of God. The one to set things right, was lying in some hay in a barn, born into poverty. Humble beginnings for a king.

“Shhhh, the baby is sleeping.”

Only heaven knew fully that the sleeping baby would turn the world upside down. God kept his secret, the power of resurrection, hidden in a baby’s body…until the timing was right for the man to manifest the love of God, in ways not seen or understood by the masses.

“Shhhh, the baby is sleeping.”

When the baby awoke, and walked from the tomb there was wild riotous celebration. Death was dead. Life was everlasting.

“Wake the baby!  Wake the baby!”

Now, in 2020, we have been tiptoeing through the year. Waiting. Waiting to see what will happen. Waiting for the pandemic to end. Waiting for justice. Waiting for healing. Waiting for hope. Waiting for life. Waiting for freedom. Waiting for miracles.

“Shhh, the baby is sleeping.”

The world appears to be falling apart, while he sleeps. The louder the noise of the world, the more we want to say, ‘Go away and leave the rest-deprived and the sleeping baby alone.’ Yet, how to you silence a heavenly choir that is singing over us. ‘A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn!’ Should we silence them? Or should we embrace the moment and wake the baby? Do we dare?

Let him come out of the grave of this year to bring life everlasting. Let him restore.  Let him heal.  Let him turn our world upside down and turn over the tables. Let him expunge the false gospel and restore the true one. Let him break God out of the boxes we put him in. Let him express the wild and passionate love of God for ALL his children. Let him bring freedom for the captives. Let him remind us of the mystery and the miracles.

“Wake the baby! Wake the baby!”

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