His tiny toes curled up and his slender fingers, like his new Mama's, stretched out wide. This charming bundle of pure beauty, cried his little lungs out after his new Daddy took him from snuggling on his warm chest, skin to skin, and laid him flat out on the bed for us to admire him.
His newborn cry filled the room until he was swaddled like a little papoose and in an instant he was content. Sleeping like 10 hour old babies do. Somehow, he stuck his right hand up out of the blanket and rested it on his chin, as though deep in thought.
I took my twelfth nephew in my arms with joy and thanksgiving for his safe arrival while his Mama marvelled at the wonder of his life. Reflected on the labour she had endured and the how she breathed calm through the contractions. This baby that she loved already and carried so close to her heart, she pushed facing all the pain, like a super-hero, to bring him forth and a precious six pounds and six ounces slipped into this world. And how he gasped his own deep breath to trigger the flow of blood to his lungs and out came that first cry, the sign that baby is alive and healthy.
Is there never an end to the amazement of being made alive?
How sweet to hold a newborn babe and drink in the delicious scent on his newborn head. The milk caked just below his lips. And the perfect fingernails at the end of the slender fingers.We stand over six pounds in awe at all the intricate details and fine features.
They seem like simple things, but at the same time, we can't quite grasp the complexity of it all.
And we recognize that we don't have as much control over our birth stories as we would like to think we do.
We don't have as much control over our birth stories as we think we do.
We were sinners faced with a sentence from a Holy God with a righteous wrath.
We were without hope.
We were dead.
But God made us alive. In Christ. Alive.
"We were dead, and so helpless to save ourselves; only 'mercy' could reach the helpless, for 'mercy' is love for the down and out. We were under God's wrath; only 'love' could triumph over wrath. We deserved nothing at God's hand but judgment, on account of our trespasses and sins; only 'grace' could rescue us from our deserts, for grace is undeserved favour."*
Spiritual separation from God ended when the free gift by the grace of Jesus Christ abounded and made us alive, giving us new spiritual life within that we might believe.
"Grace in the soul is a new life in the soul. A regenerated sinner becomes a living soul; he lives a life of holiness, being born of God: he lives, being delivered from the guilt of sin, by pardoning and justifying grace. Sinners roll themselves in the dust; sanctified souls sit in heavenly places, are raised above this world, by Christ's grace."**
We are made alive in Christ and secure in His loving embrace and tender care.
And if made alive with Christ, then we "also must consider [ourselves] dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus."
Sin no longer has mastery over us, those of us who belong to Christ, who are made alive in Him, who live according to the life graciously given to us. And we will rest secure in Christ for all eternity.
As Jesus Christ was raised at the resurrection, with Christ, in the same way, we are made alive. "Because Jesus rose, we live spiritually alive and will one day rise physically from death, like Jesus, to be with him forever."***
Oh, the astonishment that we've been made alive.
How He has loved us with his great love, lavished us with his rich mercy, poured down His abounding grace, and wrapped us in His robes of righteousness.
** Matthew Henry Commentary
*** Driscoll, Mark. "Who Do you Think you Are?