Perhaps it is time we reconsidered our birthday as over 14 years writing this column I have touched on birthday previously.
We each have a birthday. Birthdays have a special place in our hearts for family and national presuppositions. For family as it is the day you came into this world, a new baby is born. Celebrations and birthday cakes and candles are all part of the performance, let alone dad not singing in tune your happy birthday song.
Birthdays also have an important place in the life of the nation. Consider:
In our legal system you become designated as an adult at 18
This confers particular rights and responsibilities such as voting
You are legally able to leave school at a certain age
In past years you became eligible for military conscription at a certain age
You can enlist in the military at a certain age
You can marry at certain age
You can consent to sexual intercourse at a certain age
You can run for elected office at a certain age
You can legally purchase (or consume) alcohol as a certain age
You can obtain a driver's license at a certain age
Credit applications (Banks, Cards, whatever) require your birth date
You can legally retire on a pension at a certain age
It's imperative you have a birth certificate with your birth date
Indeed your birthdate has great significance. My wife Delma has recently had her 69th. The eldest of our four children has a birthday this week. Delma as grandma has a lost of the 6 grand children’s birthdays. One couple we know in Christchurch NZ, have 17 grand children at last count – a very full diary
Consider when children are born, and the older children await expectedly (as did ours) as the new baby comes home and becomes part of the family. Each year the date of the birth is celebrated. It is a big event.
Christmas does this too - the nativity scene is one of the most visible and recognisable items in today's society. Jesus the baby in swaddling clothes with Joseph and Mary in a manger with various animals along with variations such as wise men, shepherds, chickens, hay bales and other farmyard paraphernalia are highlighted in shop windows, community centres, private homes and churches across the nation.
Gifts are central to birthdays and the most wonderful gift of Jesus coming into our world as a baby, creates the delight of giving gifts at Christmas to our own children and loved ones.
Birthdays mean sharing
Gift-giving is a practical way to show children the Christian principles of sharing what little you may have, with those less fortunate. Children are expected to give gifts to the family, as well as receive them from others.
All this is woven into our traditions, and it means that families are indispensable to the joy of birthdays. Every parent experiences the delight of their loved ones opening their birthday gifts that they have so carefully and lovingly chosen for each child, grandchild or member of the extended family (and sometimes friends).
We have realised how traditions pass through the generations, as we are delighted to know the delight grandchildren bring to our hearts. Their birthdays become important to us. The next generation. For Christians, the church of the future.
Birthdays have so many wonderful memories for families and as the years roll on, the children grow up, they in turn marry and have children of their own, and then each birthday becomes more and more special.
Birthdays brings all this into context. I am very pleased that my children remember that families are great fun. I am also pleased to find that the speeches the children make as adults are filled with such wisdom and fun, particularly their acting out various situational family comedy.
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 45 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 45 years with 4 children and 6 grand children