The great American Poet and novelist Carl Sandburg wrote that “A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.”
How very true. In the past two weeks we have had two new little babies born into our parish family and they are beautiful reminders that life should go on. Dave and Giesela Goetz welcomed little Gabriela on January 22, 2008. All of us at the church have been waiting with great expecation.
As good as that news was for all of us, the good news just keeps marching on! Just last week on Friday February 1, 2008 Christian and Christie Paulton welcomed little Elijah into the world. Both these babies are so wonderful. They will no doubt bring a great deal of joy and love to our community.
Congratulations to Christian and Christie and Dave and Giesela! They are both first time parents and both are going to be wonderful parents.
One of these little babies is twice the size of the other, if you can believe that. See if you can guess which one is smaller!
This past two weeks I have done my share of reflecting on death and what it means in the greater context of our story together. I think these moments when we are faced with death, or faced with new life we get to come face to face with our common humanity. Desmond Tutu mused; “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”
A couple of weeks ago I became intimately aware of how much we can do for each other as human beings when we are faced with death. When we look into someone else’s pain due to death we all come to understand a little more about ourselves as we deal with fear around our own mortality. It becomes clear to us that each one of us in our sense of humanity is caught up in other’s sense of humanity. In the days around Andrea’s death and indeed even today, I have witnessed that we “can only be human together.” My sense of who I am in all of this is made more vivid and real because those around me who have been so wonderful and so caring.
I believe that Tutu’s quote holds true in birth as well. In death we find ourselves asking all of the difficult questions that come to us naturally, about our own mortality. In the miracle of birth I think we also find ourselves asking natural questions about creation and where we come from. These moments are for us touchstones of our connectedness with God and with our fellow human beings. My humanity is bound up in the humanity of those around me. It has been a great gift of joy to meet two new little babies who have reminded me again what it is like to be human together. Babies are unbelievably beautiful little pieces of God’s creation. Author Eda J. Le Shan wrote "A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities." It is impossible to look into the face of these beautiful dawning parcels of creation and not feel immense hope, and dream of all of the possibilities.
All of this coupled together with the baptisms of young Gracelyn and baby Elliot on Sunday, and one cannot help but feel a great sense of connectedness with our roots. God is good! I see God in the midst of grief. God is good! I see God in the midst of birth and creation. God is great at reminding us that life must go on.