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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Care and Feeding of a Newborn

By Jim Faughn

      Phone calls are made;  texts are sent;  pictures are posted on Facebook;  Twitter is filled with tweets.  In short, the news is spread in any way possible.
      What has just happened?
      Isn’t it obvious?
      A new child has made his/her entrance into the world!  Parents, grandparents, other relatives, and friends are all elated.  They are filled with gratitude, pride, joy, and so many other positive emotions.   
     However, it won’t be long until that “new creature” will begin making demands on some of the older and more mature members of the family.  He/she does not intend to do that.  It is just how things are.  Nobody expects a newborn infant to be able to be self sufficient.  It may take a lot of time and loss of sleep; demands may be made on financial resources; it may be very difficult; but no right thinking person would resent getting this infant on his/her way to a healthy, rewarding life.
     The Bible teaches that, when one is baptized into Christ (cf. Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27), that person becomes “a new creature/creation” (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17, various translations).   How do the more mature members of the spiritual family respond to that?
     Are we as excited about somebody’s new birth (cf. John 3) as we are about a physical birth?  Do we “spread that news?”  Are we willing to invest the time, energy, and other resources it will take to help a new child of God begin a journey that, hopefully, will lead all of us to heaven?
     It would be beyond ludicrous to expect “the professionals” (doctors, nurses, etc.) to nurture, train, and educate our newborn children until they were mature enough to take care of themselves.  Once we leave the hospital, we do what we can for them (with some “professional guidance” along the way) until they can do things for themselves.
    What would be the sense, then, of expecting only “the professionals” in the church (preachers, elders, etc.) to be the only ones expected to help nurture a new Christian?  Wouldn’t it be better if each of us took some ownership in this?
      How about all of us applying the words of an old song to all of the members of our family --- especially the newborn ones? 
He ain’t heavy. 
He’s my brother.

- Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:
http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org

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