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7 Months

Peace Lutheran Church: Writien by Kristin Peura

Kristin P. Peura
December 21, 1999

Dear Liam,

Last Saturday night, just three days ago, you entered my heart and the hearts of many at Peace Lutheran Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. No, you did not nestle in my arms, looking into my eyes, nor did you cry or fuss as a 10 day old baby is wont to do. Rather, you simply arrived, much as we who await the coming of the birth of the baby Jesus wait expectantly for him to come each Christmas.

In a tiny woven basket, wrapped and capped in knitted garments lovingly prepared, you unceremoniously were introduced into a world larger than your family at home. Your mother held your basket crooked over her arm and your two older brothers, Krister and Kristian, skipped into the second pew on the left near the organ where there was space enough for your whole family. Space for you in your basket. Space for your mother to whisper to you and your brothers "Sh...listen to Papa." Space for you, tiniest of babies, to capture the hearts of all who worshipped in this place.

Just as your mother and father made you out of their love, God fashioned you in secret inside your mother. You grew underneath her beating heart in her womb for nine months from almost nothing into a real person, straining and kicking and demanding to be born. But in this nine month period that you grew, no man or woman or child knew you. No one could see the toes that wiggled nor the ears which already could hear sounds as you grew in this nesting place. But your Heavenly Father saw you, for he had given your parents the ability to create and sustain you until your birth.

And so this week you will be baptized on the night we celebrate the birth of our Savior. And in the sprinkling of a little water on your body, you will be named with the name God gave you even before your beginning. And you will be sealed for all time with the sign of the cross your father will lovingly trace on your forehead. The christening gown you wear, though it be the most beautiful dress your parents can provide, will pale in comparison to the garment of the righteousness of Jesus Christ which will henceforth clothe your body into eternity. For a child of God you will be. Forever.

Yes, littlest one, you were placed in a basket. And your introduction to Peace reminded me how Jesus arrives and is placed in the manger of our hearts as we prepare to receive him this Advent Season. You snuggled inside your coverings, not caring where or how you were placed. Thus, too, Jesus comes...creeping into our Bethlehem hearts where we open wide the doors of the very best we have to offer him.

"Papa," you will say when you are older, "tell me the story again." And so Papa will. But with the telling each time it will be different. Each time it will be fresh and new, though familiar.

Welcome to the world, Liam! Welcome to my heart. Love, Kristin