Changing the Baby’s Diaper: A Christmas to Remember

Our youngest granddaughter is now six months old. I’m not sure how, but I’ve avoided changing a diaper until a few days ago. Granny and my daughter (the baby’s Mom) hijacked me into it. They were baking Christmas cookies and apparently decided it was time for me to be baptized.

Changing a diaper is something I haven’t done for years. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had the privilege. I admit, I was a tad rusty at the process. I’ve changed my share over the years, but it’s definitely been a while.

“Both baby and Gramps are doing fine.”

As fortune would have it, of the two possibilities, I most certainly got the worst. Wet diapers are one thing—messy ones…well, they’re something else. I should add that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. There was no diarrhea involved. I have old but vivid memories of that kind of experience (but we can save those for another time).

Lily (the grandbaby) and I came out smelling like roses (well, more like baby powder). Both baby and Gramps are doing fine. Another milestone passed…

Since this occurred near Christmas, it made me think of Mother Mary and the Baby Jesus. When she arrived in Bethlehem that fateful night, she was about as prepared as a young mother could be under those circumstances. I say that because we’re told she wrapped him is swaddling clothes. I doubt she found those lying around in the stable.

I’m not sure what first-century diaper bags looked like, but she must have had hers packed to the hilt. Along comes the baby Jesus, and Mary seems to have it all together. That’s kind of amazing when you think about it.

“Mary changed God’s diapers.”

What’s more amazing (and something we rarely allow to cross our minds), Mary changed God’s diapers. Mull that one over for a while. Nothing quite speaks to the humanity of Jesus like knowing he had to have his diapers changed (just like us). Talk about incarnation…

I’m not sure what your view of Heaven happens to be. My guess is, however, that it doesn’t include dirty diapers. The fact that the Son of God had dirty diapers while here on earth is almost unsettling. On the other hand, it shows the lengths God went to in order to save us. Becoming a human being had to be a disgusting transition for the Almighty to undertake. It’s rather unthinkable.

Still, he did it—and he did it for you and me. If dirty diapers were all he had to tolerate while here on earth, that probably wouldn’t have been quite so bad. On top of that was every other lousy function and experience we homo sapiens have to endure, including death. Of course, his death was far more excruciating than ours (try having the sin of the world heaped upon you). I think I would have tried finding another way to handle the situation.

By the way, did you know that diapers now have Velcro on them?

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]

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