Luke 2:12 “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Who’s Afraid of a Little Baby?
Paul Harvey, a great radio commentator from years ago, liked to tell this Christmas story to illustrate Luke’s passage above. It went something like this:
A man was blessed with a God-fearing wife and children. He was a decent man but took no interest in church – not even when his wife invited him to Christmas Eve services. “The children are singing.” But no, he’d stay home. Mother and children left, making their way through the falling snow.
Ah, alone! He threw another log on the fire, made some cocoa, and settled in for a cozy time. But no sooner was he seated than a bang rattled the picture window. “Snowballs,” he thought. He raced to the window and looked. No one. Yet no sooner did he sit down than the window rattled, again – and again. Bang. Bang. Bang. Angrily he peered out, but he saw nothing but snow.
Finally, the man bundled himself up and trudged out. He heard the banging but couldn’t see its cause. He drew closer. Then he saw them. Sparrows! Maybe two dozen. Some were huddled beneath the juniper bush. Others were flying up and into the window. Again and again. Aha! They only wanted to get warm. But then he saw that some were hurt. Others lay still; they were dead.
The man had to stop this. The birds were killing themselves. So he ran to the juniper, waving his arms. “Stop!” he shouted. But the more he waved and shouted, the more frenzied the birds grew. Rather than saving them, he was only scaring them. Then the strangest thought shot through him. If only I were a bird, I could show them the way; I wouldn’t scare them. Just then, the distant church bells began to ring out, and in a flash he understood the mystery of the baby in the manger and what drew his family inside that church down the street. And he sank to his knees in the snow.
It’s a fanciful story, yes. But it stirs an emotion by making us think of God’s non-threatening sign of love to sinners. Look for the baby in the manger wearing swaddling clothes – that’s God! That’s your Savior! He’s come not to scare you but to attract you, wearing not a crown but diapers. How God feels for you! How God longs to save you! Do you see what he means to you?