Welcome to the world, Ella

Farmville Enterprise October 24, 2018

Dear Ella,

As you grow up you will find that few things in life are as exciting as the birth of a child. Welcoming a baby is usually one of the most magical events ever. Pregnancy and childbirth cause both wonder and sleeplessness, even for the most experienced parents. It is fair to say that your appearance has caused more than the average amount of excitement surrounding a newborn. A year ago, with your sister applying for college and your brother preparing for middle school, your parents might not have thought about how much joy and hope a new life would bring. They had recently faced the excruciating losses of your mother’s mother then father. In God’s perfect timing, here you are, a treasured gift who is more than what they ever could have asked or imagined. Upon meeting you your Aunt Staci pointed out how much you looked like their daddy. Your mom noted, “God knew our hearts needed you.”

King David, the Psalmist, wrote of how intricately God is involved in the formation of each and every human life. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

Jesus welcomed the little children and acknowledged that their utter dependence on adults was similar to the dependence we all must have on God’s mercy and grace. From a spiritual perspective, we are helpless and can’t make it on our own. “People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16)

In closing, here are some lovely words from a French Reformed baptismal liturgy. “For you, little one, the Spirit of God moved over the waters at creation, and the Lord God made covenants to live in love with his people. It was for you that the Word of God became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth. For you, Ella, Jesus suffered death and cried out ‘It is finished!’ For you, Christ triumphed over death, rose in newness of life and ascended to reign over all. All of this was done for you, little one, though you do not know it yet. But we will continue to tell you this good news until it becomes your own. And so the promise of the gospel is fulfilled: We love because God first loved us.”


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