Bible Society of South Africa

New Beginnings: It begins with a Child – 3 December 2021

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

5The boots of the invading army

and all their bloodstained clothing

will be destroyed by fire.


Isaiah 9:5GNBOpen in Bible reader

Isn’t it amazing to see what excitement and expectation the birth of a baby evokes, immediately impacting the world and transforming the lives of its family forever! Birth is an amazing miracle with life-giving, life-changing qualities, and whether seen in the physical or the abstract, its roots are in God and He gives it life. From it come growth and development.

Physically, life began for each of us in the dark warmth of our mother’s womb, where we were “knitted together” (Psalm 139:13) then birthed into the stark world at the time set for us. Yet the birthing experience, rather than being an ending, leads us further to different births, or beginnings, in our lives, enabling us to grow in knowledge with understanding.

God used the same modus operandi to come into the world He’d created, His plan was brilliant in its integrity and simplicity, perfect in its timing, and radical in turning the world upside down.

To come as a baby, surely the humblest option conceivable for the One “who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light”, (Timothy 6:16) fitted His plan spoken through the prophets down the ages, which had fallen on deaf ears. It showed His message of redemption plainly.

God’s love for mankind was sacrificial, not sentimental; He would come to earth to experience the human condition, to fully identify with us, and understand our needs. We would see His integrity in Jesus who had take on completely the brokenness of man and yet ministered astoundingly through His power, and modelled how, “The greatest love a person [could] have for his friends [was] to give his life for them.” (John 15:13)

But it began with a child.

Notice how Isaiah begins by describing the natural progression in God’s plan that anyone could identify with: “A child… A son… … our ruler”, but ends astonishingly with what they could not: “Wonderful Counsellor”, “Mighty God”, “Eternal Father”, “Prince of Peace”.

Jesus, “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being”, (Hebrews 1:3) was no ordinary child. Yet He was born in the most ordinary way, in a less-than-ordinary birth-place; no special care was given Him, no medical staff in attendance – only fascinated animals watching His mother place Him in their manger.

The baby who carried the hope of the world in His tiny form would do what no other child before Him, or after, could ever do: he would be the sacrifice that God required to redeem the world. He would provide the way, as the Saviour of the world, for all people to come to God through Him.

Prayer: Loving Father, help the world to see the new beginning that Jesus made possible through that first Christmas. Give us a true appreciation of the significance of Your coming to earth as a child. Amen

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