On the Birth of Our Son
On the joyous occasion of the arrival of our firstborn son, Mishael Calvin Pitchford, we would like to express publicly our thanks and praise to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. All of the bountiful gifts that God has lavished upon us reflect in some way who he is. Mishael is a greater blessing than we could possibly have imagined; and at this wondrous manifestation of God’s great liberality, we are reminded in several ways of the greatness of God himself.
First, we have been astonished at the immense glory of God as the Creator of all things. How unspeakably wonderful is the sovereign formation of new life! Who can comprehend the mysteries of birth, or begin to fathom the miracle of growth in the womb (Ecclesiastes 11:5)? With a tiny seed of life, called into existence by the Maker of the worlds, God began to work his wonders, taking it into his powerfully tender hands, shaping it into bones and flesh and skin and hair, endowing it with all the distinctive features of an entirely new person, instilling it with a heart beating life, and a soul already awakening to the passions that are so far beyond the mere physical impulses of the lesser creatures of the earth. This is a wonder, and the handiwork of God. How great our God must be! Truly, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
We are further overwhelmed, when we reflect on this gift of love, at the mighty display of our Father’s steadfast grace. Mishael, as his father before him, was “conceived in sin and shaped in iniquity” (Psalm 51:5). From earliest consciousness, his thoughts are without God, and his desires attuned to the lesser idols of earth, the “broken cisterns that can hold no water,” rather than to his Creator, the true “Fountain of living waters” (Jeremiah 2:13). He is born a “child of wrath, dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1-3). In light of this sobering reality, how comforting is the assurance that God’s promise of grace and redemption is “to [us who believe] and to our children” (Acts 2:39). Mishael by right should be an heir of the kingdom of darkness and sin, but by the marvelous grace of Jesus our Savior, he is instead an heir of the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:14)! How precious is the grace of God, purchased by Christ on the cross of Calvary, that from his earliest childhood, we may assure Mishael that the promise of eternal life is his if he “continues in the faith, grounded and settled, and is not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Colossians 1:23). O how rich is God’s mercy, by whom we have redemption through the blood of Christ, and from whom is the sure promise of everlasting salvation to us and our children after us, throughout “thousands of generations of them that love him” (Exodus 20:6)! Praise be to God that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:22). That God would give new life at all to a race of rebels and sinners is a marvelous thing – but that he would give a second birth (John 3:3-8), a renewed heart that looks to Jesus alone for righteousness, and that rejoices to see his glory, is marvelous beyond description. We lay firm hold of the promise that this new birth, by virtue of which the Kingdom of heaven belongs to him, will be worked in Mishael by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit; and we hope by God’s grace to be empowered to raise him up as a true Christian, “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Finally, we are reminded by Mishael’s birth of the ultimate triumph of life wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ, when the Father raised him from the dead (Romans 6:9). When the time of delivery came, Nicole’s pain and travail were poignantly real; but when the child was born, all her suffering was forgotten, swallowed up in the joy of a new life to hold and to love (John 16:21). So Christ underwent the travail of the cross, pouring himself out even unto death (Isaiah 53:11-12) – but out of that death he brought eternal joy and triumph, and the promise of an indestructible life for all who hope in him (Romans 8:11)! He is the firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18): but the power of his resurrection does not end with himself, for he arose to become the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29). When sin and darkness covered the earth in hopeless night, Christ conquered death, accomplishing a mighty work of restoration that will soon flood the whole world with its unstoppable life and light. Until the effects of Christ’s great success become apparent, the world is still groaning in birth pangs, awaiting the redemption of Christ (Romans 8:22-23). But just as Nicole’s travail was swallowed up in the joy of new life, so the groaning of all creation, steeped in pain and violence, death and destruction, will soon be swallowed up forever in the eternal joy of Christ’s resurrection life.
Praise to our Father, who has created this precious new life, and entrusted him into our care. Praise to the regenerating Spirit, who delights to open eyes to the glory of Christ, who teaches the people of God, through all their generations, to trust in Christ alone for righteousness and acceptance with God. Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, who has redeemed us by his blood, purchasing for us the eternal life of the resurrection, even when we were dead in our sins. All praise to the most blessed triune God for the gift of Mishael Calvin, our firstborn son!