Sleeping Like a Baby (Fourteenth Ordinary)

“As a mother comforts her child, so I’ll comfort you. You will be comforted in Jerusalem”. (Isaiah 66: 13)

I love watching babies at church. I suppose I shouldn’t admit that. It might sound as if I’m confessing to being distracted and not paying attention. But how can you not pay attention to a newborn – yawning., scrunching her little nose up, or trying to jam a fist into his mouth? And when they’re a bit older it’s fun to watch them look around from their perch in Mum or Dad’s arms, taking in the lights and colours and strange people, their eyes wide with curiosity. My favourites are the ones who are totally collapsed into their parent’s shoulder so we get to see their sweet sleeping face so full of contentment. As the parents move up to Communion or sway to the music (holding a baby gives you a license to sway in church), the child’s every need is met and the little one is content and satisfied and living in the now.

That’s a state we can spend the rest of our lives trying to recapture. In fact the reading this week from Isaiah proclaims a promise from God that those who are faithful will be comforted, fed, carried in God’s arms, and filled with joy so that we can collapse, like contented newborns, into God’s care.

Yes, I love watching babies at church, and after hearing Isaiah describe God’s promises, I know that this pastime isn’t a distraction, it’s a flesh-and-blood meditation on God’s total love for each and every person – even me.

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