Thursday, April 12, 2007

You Can't Duplicate Perfection

We went to a breastfeeding class tonight in preparation of nourishing Aidan the first year of his life. It turned out to be a sort of reunion from our childbirth classes; however, I was the only returning dad from that group (wonder why I didn't get the memo about the poker game). We learned a lot and practiced with a plastic approximation of a newborn. That part was weird.

Anyway, discussion turned to use of bottles and pacifiers and Yours Truly had a question: why, if mother's breast is so perfect for production and delivery of food and development of baby, do manufacturers of rubber baby products not make them more...breast-like? The instructor graciously and enthusiastically informed me that they've tried, but they haven't worked too well. One guy even invented a breast bottle because he thought like I did, but it leaks and you still have to make sure there's no air in it. Then Kathy declared the title of this entry and I completely agree with her.

However, after she said that, I may as well have checked out of the class because sermon illustrations began popping off in my mind like an overzealous race starter with a hair-trigger pistol. That's the Gospel in a nutshell: "You can't duplicate perfection." That's why no one on their own works or merit will be able to join God in Heaven. He's perfect. And a xerox of God just won't cut it. God Himself had to come and not only show us the way, but be the Way (John 14:6).

Peter even knew about the simplicity of the Gospel when compared with breast milk: "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:2). Why have I not heard this from the pulpit? Has the human breast become so over-sexualized that a preacher can't present the greatest Truth in the simplest manner? Has the American public been so brainwashed by formula companies and forgotten God's way of providing baby's first food that using such an illustration wouldn't hit pay dirt? Probably a nice, warm combination of both is the real answer.

And don't try to convince me that formula is an OK substitute. I've read too much to be swayed. One textbook's author likened comparing breast milk to formula to "comparing a real leg and a prosthesis" (Janet Tamaro, 24). And as for the Gospel? The same verse used earlier declares that Jesus is the Truth too (John 14:6). There's no substitute for Jesus. He's the only way. All the other stuff is just junk. We may not be able to duplicate perfection, but we can sure receive it and live from it. Whether mom giving baby her milk or God giving the world His Son, receive perfection! And then live!

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