A new baby fills our lives with a special joy, a special hope. A baby is a living soul, formed through the union of a spirit created by God with the physical elements of your body. William Wordsworth put it beautifully:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.
Science can describe how children come into being, but when you first hold your baby and look into those little eyes, you are looking at one of the great mysteries of the universe—a glimpse of heaven and the creative power of God. There in your arms is tangible proof of the love God has for you, for He has chosen you to parent a new soul.
First steps of a journey
Each baby is the first and only one of its kind: a special someone who has entered your life, someone who has something important to do, someone who will live on into eternity with you. Having a child is the beginning of a relationship and blessing that will last beyond the boundaries of this present life.
Each of us is special to God and has a unique purpose for being here. This world is a place of learning through which we all must pass on our journey home to God. Your baby, too, has a special purpose in life. As parents, our job is to help the new arrival to this world get settled and safely started on his or her journey through life.
The question mark and promise and wild possibility that exist in each newborn infant remind us of that which is godlike in us—godlike in reason, in apprehension, and in vision. There are magic and mystery in that frail bundle of flesh. He has genius in his tiny head. He can grow and he can learn. The beauty of the world is in his face; he sleeps with the innocence of snow; and his brave little flower of a fist will grow to hold the plow, drive the ships, heal the sick, sway the multitudes, and perhaps even point the way to a happy new world.
A baby once again
Birth marks the entrance to life. The celebration of a birth is also a good time to reflect on our own spiritual rebirth and growth.
Nicodemus, an elderly religious leader, once came to see Jesus in the secret of night. All of his learning had not brought him joy or peace of mind, and he had a question for Jesus. He wanted to know how he might find eternal life. Jesus answered him simply that in order to enter the kingdom of heaven he needed to be born again. This puzzled him.
“How can I become a baby in my mother’s womb and be born again, for I am an old man?”
Jesus assured him that the birth He spoke of was a spiritual one; it was a rebirth of his soul by the infilling of God’s own Spirit.1
Just as we must be born to enter this life, so each of us must also be born anew to enter the kingdom of God, that eternal world of happiness that awaits us beyond this life.
What a life! What a journey!
- See John 3:1–8.