They came out of nowhere.
Everywhere we went.
“Oh, what a sweet baby! How old is he?”
“Oh, he’s so tiny! Was he a preemie?”
“Yes, he was.”
“Is he your first?”
“No, he’s the sixth.”
Or some variation of that.
I was in Chicago this past weekend, attending Kid Min, a conference for those in children’s ministry. I went with my friend who has a tiny baby – so he, of course, came too.
And baby changes everything.
He changed how we went through security.
And how TSA officers responded to us.
He changed our seating arrangements on the plane, giving us seats together when we were slated to sit apart.
He changed the looks on passengers’ faces as we boarded the plane.
Some to smiles.
Others to scowls.
(Although the scowlers had nothing to worry about – he flew without a peep, sleeping the entire time, on both flights, bless the Lord!)
He drew every one of the 1700 attendees to us, wherever we went.
Some came boldly and asked their questions.
Others commented from afar.
Some just smiled.
And a few still scowled.
He changed the trajectory of one of the keynote speakers on her way to the front! We were sitting in the back on the aisle so that we could make a fast break if he needed something.
She was on her way up front, notes in hand.
But she nearly skidded to a stop when she noticed him.
And we went through the same conversation.
He even got us invited to sit with the founder of the company and his wife at breakfast the other morning.
Because baby changes everything.
People were drawn to him.
He opened up conversations.
He drew attention simply by his existence.
As he slept through the vast majority of these interactions.
My friend says he is “magic”. Because this same thing happens everywhere she goes.
Baby changes everything.
All this reminds me of that other baby, the One who REALLY changes everything – if we let Him.
The baby born in Bethlehem two millennia ago still has the power to change it all.
Some people are attracted to Him.
They are curious and want to know more.
Others scowl when they hear of him.
Still others admire Him from a distance but never engage.
But, if we let Him, Baby changes everything.
If we allow Him to have full reign in our lives, it is irresistible to those around us.
They see a difference in us from the rest of the world.
Because, unknowingly, they see Him in us.
He is irresistible.
When we allow Him to have full reign.
Who He really is.
As revealed in Scripture.
Not as we want Him to be.
But as He is.
I could have taken a life-like doll to the conference and gotten a way different response.
People may have been drawn at first, especially if it was a convincing fake.
But they quickly would have seen through my act and rejected the story I was purporting to tell.
And in much the same way, we can give lip-service to the Baby, saying the right things but not dealing with Him as He is.
Not allowing Him to transform our lives.
Not allowing Him to change our patterns of thought.
We can attempt to re-create Him as we want Him to be.
But it doesn’t work.
Because I cannot change Him.
Instead, He must change me.
That Baby who came two thousand years ago is known by many names.
But one of them is The Word.
John, his best friend while he walked the earth, said it this way: “The Word of God became flesh and lived among us.”
And Charles Swindoll, another dear friend of the Lord’s, says this to us today:
“God did not give us His Word to satisfy our curiosity; He gave it to change our lives.”
The Word of God, the Baby who grew to be a man so He could die in my place, is manifested in the Living Word of God, the Bible.
And it addresses every single issue we face today.
Every. Single. One.
Slaughter of the unborn.
And the treatment of those in poverty.
Dealing with those in authority.
What it means to be a man.
What it means to be a woman.
What it means to be a family.
How to live our best lives financially.
And every other “-ally” that you can think of.
How to love.
Who to love.
When to love.
And why to love.
The Word that became flesh and The Word that is written down by men as God told them what to say are both as applicable and effective today at changing lives as they ever have been.
If we let them.
If we purpose to not just claim a fake version of who and what they are, but instead allow them to be the living, breathing, life-altering entities that they are.
If we will choose to be not just hearers of the Word but doers of it as well. (James 1)
If we will stop conforming to the pattern of this world but instead be transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12)
If we will allow The Word to be living and active, like a two-edged sword, piercing our own hearts and revealing all that is in them – and then allowing Him to change us into His likeness instead of recreating Him in ours. (Hebrews 4; 2 Corinthians 3)
If we will intentionally, daily, do business with the real Baby instead of any fake we have established in His place.
Checking our motives.
Holding them up to the litmus test of the Word in the flesh and the Word on the page.
Allowing His Spirit to speak.
And choosing to obey what He says.
Forgiving the unforgivable.
Even when I see the unforgivable in me.
Loving the unlovable.
Even when they don’t want to be loved.
Shining in the darkness.
Even when it feels like it is growing.
Pressing on, even when we are weary.
Because this life is not all there is.
Because one day I will see that Baby who is the Son of God face to face.
Because, if we will allow Him to, Baby changes everything.