A devotion by Joe G.
December 9, 2022
“No Baby Shower”
Luke 2:1-7; 8-20; Isaiah 9:6-7
My daughter, Heather, was born in the late 1980s. My wife Kathy and I adopted her 8 ½ months after we first applied for adoption. Unfortunately, we could not have a baby shower because of the many unknowns that accompany adopting a child.
So, there was no party with a bunch of people bringing baby gifts, such as clothes or toys. Actually, we only found out that her birthmother had given birth about 72 hours before she was delivered to us.
When Kathy received the call that Heather’s birth mother had signed the official documents, our life went into overdrive. We needed everything. Luckily Heather’s soon-to-be Godparents, Fred and Sue, came to the rescue.
On the day Heather was born, I was taking an evening class at the local community college and continually called Kathy on a pay phone (There were no cell phones back then). I kept checking to see if the birth mother had signed off on the adoption. Five minutes before class, I called her again. She told me the mother had signed the paperwork. When I got home after class, Kathy was nowhere to be found. Again, this was the late 1980s, so I had no way to contact her.
About an hour later, my wife Kathy walked into the house with Sue, with bags full of items for the baby. They had everything from diapers to baby bottles and clothing. Another person who blessed us with a gift was my brother Sam, who gave us a gift certificate for a crib. (The lawyer who handled the adoption loaned us a portable crib she had for a few days until we could purchase one.)
There was no party and not much preparation for our child’s birth. But that’s okay because God blessed us in so many other ways.
It’s a bit of a familiar story, isn’t it? A baby’s birth, no flourish, and no bed. Just a stable, swaddling clothes, and a manger.
My daughter Heather isn’t the only child who’s never had a baby shower or received gifts. I would venture to say this happens quite often.
Let’s look at one family and child in particular:
“In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn. “Luke 2:1-7
Was there a party for the baby born to Mary and Joseph? Not really, at least not in the conventional definition of what we call a party. It was just mom and dad in a stable amongst barnyard animals and their child. Baby Jesus was laid in a manger (an animal feeding trough). No party, no gifts, just another child born to a poor family. Or was it?
“And in the same region, there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great Fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” Luke 2: 8-20
Perhaps there was a party after all. A handful of shepherds were called to by an angel of God. The angel informed them that on that very night, the scriptures had been fulfilled. God’s Son had been into the world to save it. And just to reinforce what the angel said, a multitude of 10,000 more angels singing and praising God joined in.
All my life, it has seemed such a simple story. But when I reflect upon the fact that God had 10,001 angels appear to a handful of shepherds to carry the message that the Christ, His Son, had been born, my mind can’t even comprehend it.
God sent His angel messenger in an overwhelming number to announce the birth of His Son. And those average everyday shepherds visited the manger. There they saw Mary, Joseph, and the Son of Man, Jesus. And this story would go with them and be discussed and proclaimed forevermore.
God sent His Son Jesus as a commoner. No flourish, no resounding gongs, or proclamations to the masses. Just a multitude of angels speaking and singing to a few shepherds and the knowledge to Mary and Joseph that their newborn Son indeed was the Son of God.
In case we forget, we are reminded every year at this time that God’s Son was born and walked this earth as a man and God. Party or not, He fulfilled the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“For to us, a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.” Isaiah 9:6-7