Jesus Did Not Die for a Doll

Our little one was having trouble getting to bed tonight. I put her down once to find she was shrieking rather hysterically, so decided to nurse her again hoping it would calm her enough to go to sleep, but when I put her down she just cried and cried. All the usual techniques we used to help her sleep at night were failing. When I came in a few minutes later to check on her and retrieve my debit card for a quick trip to the shop, my husband came in too and noticed she had her fingers in her mouth.

“Must be teething.” he said, and picked her up to sooth her. 

“Should I just bring her with me?” I wondered allowed, thinking maybe the outing would calm her and tire her out so that she could actually sleep when we got home.

“Well, I guess you could.” replied my other half, doubtfully, then shrugged. “Why not?”

As I made my way through town a few minutes later with Little Miss on my chest and Prim at my side, i heard a man’s voice to my right saying, “Sorry, excuse me.” 

I wasn’t sure he was speaking to me and was a bit wary because it was after 8 in the evening, but turned to look at him.

“I thought you had a little doll there.” 

I laughed.

“No, she’s a real baby.” 

“I see that. SHe’s beautiful.” he said then.

“Thank you.” 

“She’s smiling at me.” He sounded delighted.

“She’s a very social girl.” I told him. “SHe’s rejected her bed time tonight so I decided to bring her out with me.” 

The man chuckled. “I’m with her. I reject my own bedtime most nights.”

“Me too.” I smiled.

“Have a lovely evening.” He moved to go on his way. I wished him the same and walked on, giving my “little doll” a light kiss on the head and holding her socked foot briefly in my palm. 

You are so beautiful, my daughter, but infinitely more precious than a doll. You bear the image of your father and I, but more than that you bear the image of your creator, and though you, like your parents, are a sinner, you are made even more precious by the fact that Jesus died to give you the opportunity to be reconciled to God, and made truly perfect. Never forget how loved you are, my darling girl. Never forget the blood that has been shed for you, mine, and far more importantly, Christ’s. 

You are valued by an infinite God, and he calls you to love and serve him all your days. Do it with joy, my darling, because you know that he cares for you, enough to give himself on a cross, enough to endure the wrath of God on your behalf, enough to take the punishment that you deserved for your wrongdoing. Jesus became accursed for your sake, and thus you, my love, are marked eternally, infinitely valuable, because the one true and mighty God has called you worthy of his immeasurable sacrifice. 

I pray that you would know this, one day, and come to love with ever increasing passion the God who loved you first.. I pray that he would speak into your heart even now, as you dream your little infant fancies, that he would speak to your heart tomorrow as we go through our day together, that he would work through every day that we get the privilege of knowing and raising you, so that you will come to know the joy of new birth in Christ through the power of his redeeming work on the cross. You are as beautiful as a doll, but Jesus did not die for a doll. He died for you.

Behold the Child Christ at Rest | A Christmas Reflection

I wrote this a few years ago as I reflected on the scene of the nativity. To think of God himself, come to Earth as a tiny newborn babe, with the weight of all the world’s sin upon him. To think of that little, perfect body that one day would be spent and scarred and ruined for the sake of people who defied him. TO think that he would choose to lay down his glory and power to become the humble son of a carpenter, and then refuse to take hold of that power even in order to escape a torturous and gruesome death on the Roman cross. It is just beyond comprehension… but I suppose I should let my little rhyme speak for itself.

Behold the child Christ at rest,

Whose hands and feet yet whole,

Will one day bear the mark of sin,

To save my wretched soul.

Behold his yet unblemished brow,

The promised king just born,

It’s there he’ll bear the royal crown, 

But first a crown of thorns.

This infant palm that man will pierce,

So filled with rebel pride,

That man will flog his maker, God,

And hang him there to die.

Behold the son of God who’s power,

Yet hid in swaddling cloth,

Shall reveal himself the Lord,

who heaven and nature rot.

And yet his power he will not use,

To save himself from pain,

but bow to the father’s will,

For broken sinner’s gain.

Rejoice oh darkness dwellers,

For now has come the light,

This lamb of God was slain for us,

To make our sin-stain white.

Enemies of God we were,

And slaves to evil deeds,

But christ  has one us to himself,

And set his people  free.

This infant king will grow to be,

Redeemer, friend, and guide,

And rule in us with grace and power,

Man nevermore to die. 

Thankful for a Compelling Savior

One thing our culture hates about God is that he is uncompromising.  He demands certain behaviors of us, and condemns others, and there are consequences if we do not respond.  We see that here.  The master of the house invites several people to come in and be a part of his banquet, but each refuses, citing some excuse.  Thus, the master says that none of those who were invited and denied his invitation will taste anything of the feast he has prepared.  So uncompromising? Yes.

But he is also a God who compels.

“16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.

17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.

18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.”

19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”

22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.

24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’” (Luke 14:16-24)

Though some refused him, he sends out someone to compel others to attend the feast.  Someone, like Jesus himself.  Yes, God has standards, the highest ones imaginable, but God knows that we are broken, and in his great love for us he does not abandon us to our brokenness.  We are poor.  We have nothing to offer the God of the universe, and yet he does not simply leave us to suffer in our poverty.  We are blind, but we are not condemned to darkness.  We are lame, but we are not resigned to a life of immobility.  Jesus moves us through his sacrifice, which demonstrated his love for us and atoned for our sin.  He compels us through the Holy Spirit, who moves in our hearts that we might be able to hear and respond to the master’s call.

“If today you hear God’s voice, do not harden your hearts.”  If we feel convicted over our sin, we should not be angry that the righteous creator God has called us out.  Instead, we should recognize that such conviction is a mercy.  It’s a call to come in and enjoy the feast of grace that God has prepared for all who are willing to partake.