Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Infant Redeemer

George MacDonald wrote a wonderful series of books centered around a parish minister, his family, and his parish.  It is full of the beauty of simple, ordinary life which is, in fact, the canvas of the Spirit's work in this world.  A year ago I read "Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood" which has become an all-time favorite book.  Last fall, I enjoyed "The Vicar's Daughter", and now I have begun "The Seaboard Parish."  It hold promise of being just as much of a jewel as the previous two books, as the following passage shows:

"There is one thing," said Wynnie, after a pause, "That I have often thought about-why it was necessary for Jesus to come as a baby: he could not do anything for so long."  
"First, I would answer, Wynnie, that if you would tell me why it is necessary for all of us to come as babies, it would be less necessary for me to tell you why he came so: whatever was human must be his.  But I would say next, Are you sure that he could not do anything for so long?  Does a baby do nothing?  Ask mamma there.  It is for nothing that the mother lifts up such heartfuls of thanks to God for the baby on her knee?  Is it nothing that the baby opens such fountains of love in almost all the hearts around?  Ah! you do not think how much every baby has to do with the saving of the world-the saving of it from selfishness, and folly, and greed."  

"And for Jesus, was he not going to establish the reign of love in the earth?  How could he do it better than begin from babyhood?  He had to lay hold of the heart of the world:  How could he do better than begin with his mother's-the best one in it."

"Through his mother's love at first, he grew into the world.  It was first by the door of all the holy relations of the family that he entered the human world, laying hold of mother, father, brothers, sisters, all his friends; then by the door of labour, for he took his share of his father's work; then, when he was thirty years of age, by the door of teaching-by kind deeds, and sufferings, and through all by obedience unto the death.  You must not think little of the grand thirty years wherein he got ready for the cheif work to follow.  You must not think that while he was thus preparing for his public ministrations, he was not all the time saving the world, even by that which he was in the midst of, ever laying hold of it more and more."

What insight G.McD. had of the first thirty years of our Lord's life.  I must confess that I had thought of those years as simply preparatory, but here we come to understand that the Lord began our redemption and sanctification even as an infant newly born.  Jesus sanctifies the life and work of babies, of family, of friends, and of co-workers, long before He begins his life of public ministry.  

I would have readily agreed that the Lord prepared the way, through all aspects of humanity, for us to become like him, but I just hadn't thought about it in this way.  The Scripture tells us not despise the day of small things.  Apparently, small things indeed pack a mighty punch.  


Bonnie said...


I loved reading this and now have those books on my list. I have not read The Annuls of a Quiet Neighborhood and have it on my summer reading list ( via all you guys in Franklin and that book discussion Greg did). Rich spiritual nourishment!

The Supper of the Lamb dinner last night was that too!

Hope all is well!


Trapeze Swinger said...

Linda said...

Bonnie - You are going to LOVE "Annals". I want to read it aloud to whomever will listen!

Bonnie said...

Might have to suggest it for our Book Club, of whom you know some of its members here in Charlote. But not sure I can wait that long. I may have to get it this summer ~~

Your grandsons are adorable!