Couples expecting their first child can count on hearing one comment in particular from experienced parents: “Life will never be the same again! You might imagine things won’t change that much, but they will!” The observation is not meant to frighten or discourage–just the opposite. This is a good thing. Even before birth, a baby changes lives. Time and attention are laser focused on planning for the arrival. Anticipation grows with each passing month. There is a sense of excitement and purpose which was not there before. Mom and Dad are not just living for themselves, but preparing for life as a family. A room is cleared for a nursery. A cradle or crib is assembled.
Even greater changes lie in store after the new baby comes home from the hospital. Life revolves around sleeping and feeding schedules. A new tooth and first tentative steps are milestones to celebrate and to document on video. Parents look for clues as to what gifts God has given their child. After high school and college, when the parents adjust to life as empty nesters, their child is still at the heart of their thoughts and prayers. Life is never the same, and that’s a good thing!
Isn’t that even more true for our lives in light of the Child who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary? If Jesus had not been born, we would still be dead in sin without God and without hope. But in the fullness of time, according to God’s promise, He sent His Son so that our lives would never be the same again. Abraham, David, and all the other Old Testament believers looked ahead with great anticipation to the birth. Despite trials and heartaches, they were filled with hope in the One who would be born to free them from sin and death. “His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 ESV)
While the world tries to find a glimmer of hope in the temporary good will of people during the holidays, our lives are different. We prepare our hearts to welcome the Savior of all humankind. Hope in Him is never disappointed. Even in His infancy, there was no question as to His identity or mission. Who could ever tire of hearing, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord .” (Luke 2:11 ESV)
Jesus’ birth turns things completely upside down. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12 ESV) Then a Baby was born Who did not inherit the sin of Adam, a Baby Who would live in perfect holiness as the stand-in for every sinner, a Baby Who would be “pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities,” (Isaiah 53:5 ESV) a Baby Who would rise from the dead and give us the victory.
Life will never be the same! Because of Jesus’ birth, we don’t have to live with the burden of sin weighing on the conscience. We don’t have to live with the pressure of desperately trying to make ourselves good enough for God. We don’t have to wonder where we stand with Him or be fearful of tomorrow or eternity.
We are not alone. We are family. We are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Life will never be the same, and that is a good thing, a very good thing! Praise God.