They had enjoyed an unusually close friendship at work. It started out as a mentoring relationship as the older woman showed her the ropes. But soon they became friends – more than friends, really – a special bond developed. They were both surprised and delighted to discover, one day, they were mother and daughter, separated at birth and now reunited. No wonder the connection between them had seemed so natural. The separation had been repaired, the relationship restored.
As you consider that amazing, true story, put these two verses together:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. (Matthew 22:36-38)
Can you see why that commandment is first, is of primary importance? Repairing and restoring that relationship is the starting point for everything else.
Hammacher Schlemmer offers a slot car race track for $125,000! I wonder who will be getting one of those for Christmas. What is the most extravagant gift you have ever received? How about the most extravagant gift you have ever given? What did it cost?
Chances are pretty good that you have a Christmas card, sitting in the pile, that contains these words:
“For to us a child is born…” (Isaiah 9:6a)
The hope and joy expressed in those prophetic words make them a favorite for the makers of Christmas cards. Isaiah knew Who was coming and wrote those words 700 years before they came to pass. But the familiarity of those words might obscure the angst of the next phrase:
“…to us a son is given…” (Isaiah 9:6b)
Brand new parents are fun to watch because they barely touch the ground. They radiate joy and excitement and intense possibility. But, as I remember well, a new father becomes instantly protective in a fierce way. He is possessed by an instinctive and powerful readiness. It’s like a one man Secret Service detail. I cannot imagine what it would take to willingly give a newborn son. The young mothers who give up their newborn babies for adoption, do so at unspeakable cost. I honor them as heroes. Perhaps they, more than any other, know how to read this phrase:
“…to us a son is given…”
The Father gave His only Son – gave Him to you and me – knowing from eternity past how that Gift would be eventually rejected and mistreated. Amazing love…
“…to us a son is given…”
Quotes: The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.