It’s a Boy!

Monday, July 22, 2013, 4:24 pm, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a baby boy. Now, baby boys are born every day, thousands of them, and except to the parents, grandparents, friends and an assortment of other relatives, no one pays any attention. But this is not your run-of-the-mill birth. This little 8 pound, 6 ounce infant is the heir to the British throne!

I can’t help but think of the contrast between the birth of Jesus and the birth of the royal heir. While hoards of paparazzi stake out the hospital hoping to get a photograph of the Duke and Duchess and their little baby, only animals seem to have even a passing awareness of Mary’s newborn. As hundreds of journalists representing every form of news and entertainment try everything in their power to get an inside track, a new story, an intriguing angle on the royal birth, it’s only years later that anyone takes a few moments to record anything about Jesus’ birth. Within seconds of the birth, cheers and screams and celebrations are set off by people all over the world; Jesus enters human flesh with no fanfare…well, except for a few outcast shepherds frightened by a star and a brief appearance of angels.

The natural implication of this contrast would be to assume that the baby born today is far more important than the one born a few thousand years ago; yet, however famous and powerful and influential the son of William and Kate becomes, he will be insignificant in comparison to Mary’s baby. This is a truth we tend to forget.

So much of what happens in our lives and in our world is measured by acclaim, fame and status. Even though we know better, we fall into the trap of judging the value and worth of people, events and circumstances the way everyone else does. God uses different scales.

God’s scales measure not fame and success but love and generosity. God’s scales ignore power and focus on weakness, self-sacrifice and self-emptying. Our culture (and often the church) values what we accomplish; God values how we care for the least, the weak, the innocent. God uses different scales.

There is something magical about the royal family and this monumental moment in their lives. I pray that their family will be blessed by God, especially as they live under the microscope that is their lives. I pray that their little boy will grow to be a man of God and a righteous king. I also pray that we will see God at work in our lives—in our normal, common lives—to be agents of grace and good, of love, of Christ in our world.