“Infant holy…”

Last night Santa went to a local hospital nursery to do pictures with babies–the second year we’ve done this.

Although in many ways it was the same, this year was also different from last. There were many more babies, both in the regular nursery and in the NICU. But there was still the delight of the parents (and grandparents and siblings and…)

Santa didn’t think he would beat holding last year’s youngest child (who was three hours old). As the evening wore on, he held one who was about four hours old…one who was six hours old…but then came one who was just two and a half hours old! Wide awake and alert…looking around at this brand new world.

Everyone who gathered around was delighting in watching this new life discover sights and sounds not seen before.

And I got to thinking about the child whose birth we are celebrating this season.

Did Mary and Joseph have as much delight in watching Jesus look around? What did Jesus see–and hear–when the shepherds came to visit? What did Mary and Joseph think about these strange visitors?

We sing the Polish carol about the “infant holy”…but I was reminded last night, that in many ways, every birth is a holy one. Every child is a symbol of hope for a new and changed world. Every child is a new opportunity…

And so, while we celebrate the birth of one specific child this season, I hope and pray that as we look into the faces of children everywhere–whether our own or someone else’s…whether of our own race, nationality, or religion or of another–that we are reminded of the opportunity (and responsibility) that is ours to help create a world where there is truly peace on earth.