Remember Jesus is reason for season

Published 1:40 am Monday, December 4, 2017

“OLord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and avenger.” — Psalm 8:1-2.

As we drove along the interstate, the roads were eerily silent and vacant of traffic. The town was still sleeping, except for us. We made it to the parking lot, unloaded the suitcase, and locked the car. About 20 yards away was the four-story building with a glowing sign that read, “Baptist For Women.” Today was the day.

By 5:35 a.m., we were checked into the labor and delivery room. They told her to put on a gown and sit on the bed. They hooked up the IV and machines, making sure she was fully monitored. The doctor came in with excitement and by 7 a.m., broke her water. Not much happened after that: Roberta was watching TV, I was finishing up my Sunday lesson. All that changed around 9:30 a.m. My wife began letting out terrible groans of agony. By 10:30 a.m., the doctor came in and calmly said, “It’s baby time!” Before I knew it, the room was full of nurses. A large robotic arm with a circular light came out of the ceiling. Seconds later, our doctor was telling Roberta it was time to push! We had decided to wait to know the gender until the child was born. Ten pushes later, our doctor held up the child with its back to us and said, “It’s a…” LONG PAUSE. “It’s a girl!” Of course, I immediately burst into tears and was crying more than my newborn daughter. Vivian Rachel was born on November 16 at 11:16 a.m. They quickly gave her to Roberta, introducing her to her momma. After that, they cleaned her all up and for the next two days, we were blessed with many visitors and family welcoming Vivian into the world.

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I can’t even begin to fully explain witnessing the birth of my daughter. It is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life. The way that God providentially and miraculously brought this small, yet very vocal, bundle of joy into the world in a matter of minutes is incomprehensible to me, and always will be. Science can’t explain the wonders I saw that day or the development of Vivian in the womb — only God can.

Psalm 139 reminds us that “God formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb…my frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”

Although it has only been two weeks, I can’t imagine giving my daughter away. I can’t imagine not having her in my life. All of it is so surreal — how quickly your life can change forever in a matter of minutes. If we believe that God is the most loving, wonderful, merciful God there is (as the Bible teaches), try and imagine what God has done for you and me: given away his Son. Now imagine all the things that God already knew would happen to him — the Incarnation, his early years, his teenage years, his young adult years — leaving his Nazarene home for the last time, going out into the world to preach a message that would change everything. To be rejected, slandered, accused of being a messenger of Satan, homeless, forgotten. To be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, brutally flogged and mocked, crowned with thorns, nailed to a humiliating Cross, breathing his last. With all hope lost, three days later he would rise from the grave and FOREVER be exalted above every name, king, tribesman, ruler, president, and empire! ALL OF THIS God did for us — so that you and I may live if we believe in Jesus. Listen to John the Apostle from his Gospel and one of his Epistle, 1 John: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life…And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” John 3:16, 1 John 5:11.

Friends, this is why we can confidently say, “Jesus is the reason for the season” this Christmas. He always will be — not only for Christmas or one day out of the year, but for all days, seasons, and years God has granted us to live in this lifetime! Friends, this is the greatest gift of Christmas. Rejoice this Christmas with Jesus being our Prophet, Priest, and King — the Name above all Names, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Merry Christmas!
The Rev. Seth Duhs is the pastor of New Covenant Presbyterian Church.