Jesus Was Born for Me
Jayden Byman | 2017 November-December Shepherd's Voice
Mom, sing ‘Away in a Manger,’” my four-year-old asks in the middle of August. Little voices join in as I sing one of my boys’ favorite songs. I don’t think they understand that this song is usually sung just at Christmas time. They do know that it is about Jesus as a baby, and they ask for it often.
When I think of this familiar song about Jesus’ birth in the stable, I try to imagine Jesus as an infant. The Bible tells us that He was “wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). It is hard for me to picture my Savior as a little baby. I think of the shepherds who went to see Jesus. We also may go to meet a new cousin, a niece or nephew, or a sibling when they are first born. Jesus was the tiny newborn baby that the shepherds visited. I wonder, did the shepherds hold Jesus? That would be amazing to hold the infant Jesus Christ! I am reminded that Jesus truly did live a human life on earth to do His work.
The shepherds were joyful. They were given faith to understand that this little baby would take away the sinfulness that troubled them. They knew of God’s promise to send a Savior, and the angels told them that this promise came true when Jesus was born.
Another Christmas song says, “We have reason to be joyful; precious is our fortune here” (SHZ 50:1). How lucky we are that Jesus was born and then lived and died for us. Because of His work, we can ask for the gospel when we feel bad. We can ask mom, dad, a sibling, or any believer to preach the gospel to us. We can hear and believe that all of our sins are forgiven in Jesus’ name and precious blood. We have joy and peace when our sins are forgiven! Perhaps this is like the joy the shepherds felt when Jesus was born. It is the joy of believing.
I have heard it said that it is always Christmastime for a believer. My boys will probably continue to ask for Christmas songs all year, and really, why not? The joy of Christ’s saving work belongs to us every time we hear and believe the gospel. I pray that God will give all believers grace to hold onto their gift of faith. The songwriter has words for a prayer that I feel in my heart, too: “If only in the manger of my afflicted heart, by grace the baby Jesus would dwell, and ne’er depart!” (SHZ 30:4).
Things to visit about:
1. Sing song of Zion #50. Can you find the “reason to be joyful”?
2. What little baby have you seen? Can you picture Jesus as a baby?
3. Can you draw a picture of yourself and baby Jesus?