Thanks for your patience, ETS readers! There has been some big happenings since my last post roughly one month ago. We have recently found out that we are expecting our first child, which has had my mind elsewhere, as you can imagine.
With this great news in my mind these past few weeks, I keep coming back to certain lyrics from the Christmas hymn, O Little Town of Bethlehem. Lyrics like, “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” While our child is indeed not the savior of the world, we have our own hopes and expectations for him or her, whether we know it or not! Hopes of doing great things for God and for helping others. And yet, what if those do not happen? Fear of the what if is a biggie. Can God still be good if these fears come to fruition?
Phillip Brooks, the author of O Little Town, wrote the lyrics in 1867 after assisting at a Christmas Eve service in Bethlehem in 1865. He recalls, “I remember standing in the old church in Bethlehem, close to the spot where Jesus was born, when the whole church was ringing hour after hour with splendid hymns of praise to God, how again and again it seemed as if I could hear voices I knew well, telling each other of the Wonderful Night of the Savior’s birth” (emphasis added). And so it seems with our babe-in-utero, that we know him or her already as we have looked forward to this new little one over the years and they are finally here! Still, it is a reminder of “how silently the wondrous Gift is giv’n” as we don’t yet know this little one, as my wife is only 8 weeks or so along. The gradual emerging of what will be the newborn infant we hold and coo over comes slowly and—right now—silently.
And it is in this way that we see that our loving Heavenly Father “imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n” to us. Just as He was the Parent of our first parents of Adam and Eve, we, too, have the blessing of parenting our own one on the way. It is indeed a gift. We ask for your prayers and encouragement as we begin this journey of fun, learning, community and teaching we call parenthood.