2006-12-14 - Homeward Bound
John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you . 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you , I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going." (NIV)
Christmas is less than two weeks away. I've been taking stock of the year. We recently lost our pet calico named Squeeky. She had lived with us and enjoyed life for 17 years. She was family and remains in our hearts. Her passing has made me stop and review. There have been moments of victory and loss this year. Some of these have been keenly felt.
There was the passing of a friend, Jackie, and the return of a friend long lost, Ann. The slow healing of another friendship, which is greatly preferred to the loss of that friendship regardless of the effort. The effort is trivial compared to the value of the friendship. My eldest son turned 18 years old. What a blessing he has been. My brother-in-law and his family have moved from 700 miles away to 50 miles away - a very good thing. Yet another friend had a fire in his home. He is fine and back in his home, for which we are grateful. I have struggled through a job search with a friend and her family. My cousin Vicky was married this year to a fine gentleman named Craig, and there was great celebration in the two families. The friends that have stood with me in times of emotional struggle or celebrated with me on the mountain tops are priceless.
There have been demands at work with some hard fought victories. These victories are pale in comparison to the relationships that have impacted my life this year. The things of this world, while they have their place and importance, are passing. Lives are eternal.
Two thousand years ago, a baby was born in Jerusalem to a virgin girl named Mary and her husband Joseph. The baby was swaddled and slept in a manger - a hay rack for the animals in the stable. His birth was predicted millennia before it happened. He arrived with a mission: to remove the unimportant things from our relationship with God, to renew that relationship. And He came to reopen the door to God the Father that sin had closed. That would have to wait some thirty years until His death, burial and resurrection, but it was the key to the future of mankind. Without that relationship being restored, mankind was doomed to a very bleak future separated from God.
Our relationship to that man, Jesus Christ, is the determining factor in our future. Jesus came and bled and died, and rose again from death to break the power of sin and death over man. If we could have done this ourselves, then He died for nothing. If Jesus is Who He claimed to be, He is God in human flesh come to rescue us and lead us home. If He is our Savior and Friend, a gift freely offered, then He has promised to prepare a place for us. Since we must all pass from this life, I hope this relationship is worth consideration. Knowing your eternal destination is secured is a wonderful gift. God valued us, His creation, and our relationship highly enough to send His Son to save us. If God considered us worth saving at an enormous cost, then I hope you will consider the value that He places on us and the gift Jesus offers.
In the end, what is important? Selah.
Grace & Peace,