A silent wish sails the seven seas,
the winds of change whisper in the trees.
And the walls of doubt crumble tossed and torn,
this comes to pass when a child is born.
If you can hear Johnny Mathis’ velvet tones as you read this, then you’re thinking of the same 1970’s version of the Christmas song that I am.
This year the words from the song have taken on new meaning for me as I approach Christmas with my own baby, seeing the miracle of life play out before my very eyes and in my very arms.
Now the meaning of Christmas has opened up to me in a brand new way, albeit an obvious one.
Often, I have tried to picture the Nativity scene, attempting to fathom the inexplicable idea that God could be born into the world as a powerless, dependent, and vulnerable little baby.
But now, I gaze at the baby sleeping in my arms with awe, amazed by the magnitude of the gift I have been given and how fully my own heart has been captured by this precious little boy.
Now, I can begin to understand how much more Mary and Joseph would have been captured by the precious baby who was God in their arms.
Now, I can taste the wonder, attraction and mystery of new life, that breaks across every strata of humanity from shepherds to magi and by extension, to all of us who open our hearts to receive the precious baby of Bethlehem.
How can I doubt that God would enter our world as a baby, when I can now see all the glories of creation and the majesty of the universe in my little boy’s eyes?
Now, I start to comprehend the utter helplessness and dependence God made of himself to Mary, his mother, and Joseph, her husband. As my own child is so dependent on his mother’s breast for milk and life, how amazing that God could make Himself dependant on a human mother too, allowing her generosity and vocation to participate in the grand plan of salvation?
As my heart melts for my own adorable baby, I now see how we too are invited to have our hearts melted by the adorable child of Bethlehem born 2000 years ago.
As my baby disarms and engages strangers, drawing joyous smiles out of them, I start to realise how equally effective when God disarms and engages us with the same strategy, winning our hearts for paradise.
As the light of my child has shone through my life these last four months, I start to realise the Hope promised by the old prophecies and fulfilled by Jesus in His own birth, “a people walking in darkness, have seen a great light” (Is 9:2).
The light of the world has been revealed and should fill us with the promise of our deepest hope fulfilled.
I have so many hopes for my child.
But my child also brings me hope, with his innocence and wide-eyed wonder, hope for the future of the world.
Today, I am drawn even deeper into the mystery of the baby born in Bethlehem, the baby who is hope personified and hope for us all, whether we know it or not.
Jeremy Ambrose completed a Master of Arts in Theological Studies at the University of Notre Dame Australia and is currently the Pastoral Associate for Staff at ACU’s Melbourne Campus.