Not Bieber Fever: Baby Fever


Image from Marian Solidarity for Pope Frances:

Apparently, not everyone is on board with Baby Fever: Royal Baby Fever. “What’s all the hullabaloo?” they ask. “Why are people making such a big deal out of a baby whose parents they don’t even know?”


I have enjoyed the anticipation of the royal baby. I started paying more attention in July as the due date approached. When the news appeared on my iPhone just minutes after the announcement, I was ecstatic. It never occurred to me that there are millions for whom the event is one big yawn. It got me to wondering why so many of us who aren’t even British, anticipated the birth and felt the joy of its happening.


When a baby is anticipated in a family, usually there is joyful anticipation. In our own family, we are awaiting the birth of a nephew. Yes, the sex of the child has been determined. His grandparents are clearly besotted already. The rest of the extended family is smiling ear to ear. The mother and father have already experienced a pregnancy that couldn’t go to full term and the grandparents lost a son in a car accident over 10 years ago. Joy has been in short supply for too many years. Anticipating this new beginning brings hope.


I have observed that the anticipation of a birth brings hope in many situations. When a congregation has a pregnant member, there is a heightened level of gladness. The anticipation of the royal baby was a public story, a story that was generously shared with the general public. If we chose, we could share in the expectant anticipation and joyful arrival. For a short while, millions of us were connected in our hope, by our hope.


There was a baby born thousands of years ago whose birth we re-anticipate every year. The gestation period for the joyful arrival is only 4 weeks instead of 40. Instead of being called “pregnancy” we call it “Advent”. Millions of people around the world get ready for the birth. We are connected in our hope and by our hope that the birth brings. This hope of the world changes everything no matter the season of the year.

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