Theology in the Trenches: Newborns

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Religion Columnist

The calves came, one by one, dropped into this world by their mamas. Immediately some latched on forming a bond not to be broken. Others are dropped and left in the pasture like baby Moses left in that basket ... except there’s no basket ... just the hard ground grass upon which they landed. 

Each year this pattern repeats itself and each time the latter occurs, along comes farmer Pete, sets up gates and plops baby and mama together for a time; they have no choice but to build as a team.

Most oft, it works. When there are boundaries in place, suddenly, baby calms and somehow knows they are now safe and will survive. If he were to let each one do their own thing, it would have devastating consequences. Without someone else to help watch over the situation, baby would die. Without the wisdom of farmer’s intervention, mama, too, would be in much pain as her milk drops and there would be no baby calf to relieve the pressure.

Once a team, they stand a chance. Once the bonding has occurred, they become strong and can then be set free. They are grafted to one another and when placed within the elements of nature, they will survive. Mama will protect from harm, and new calf will come at her beck and call when she knows it is time to feed. 

This process repeats itself because that is how it works. Babies will be nurtured so they in turn can nurture their own some day. 

Exodus 34:6-7 lay out some pretty solid attributes to pass on to our own kind. Passing on to the next generations to come that which is needed for survival is a link in the chain we cannot afford to drop. Clearly it states:

1. God is merciful.

2. God is gracious.

3. God is slow to anger.

4. God is abounding in steadfast love.

5. God is abounding in faithfulness.

6. God keeps His steadfast love for 1000 generations.

7. God is a God who forgives us of our iniquities, transgressions, and sin.

Yet, the final word on that is: “But who will by no means clear the guilty.”

And who are the guilty? The guilty are those who have not asked forgiveness. We have a merciful God who is gracious, slow to anger, and abounds in steadfast faithfulness and love. We  need only turn to Him and ask forgiveness.

What happens when we do? Coolest thing ever. He remembers our sin no more as far as the east is from the west. And All ... yes All ... may turn to Him and simply confess and He who is faithful and just will forgive us from all, yes all, our transgressions. To God be the glory great things He has done and continues to do. Amen.

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)