Every Christmas, just like you, I’m faced with the decision of what gift is best for each person on my list. Which one do I choose can become a bit of a dilemma. However, if there was such a thing as an “adorable scale,” a puppy would rank right at the top. Imagine Christmas morning with a red ribbon-wrapped puppy bouncing underneath the Christmas tree. And what makes that gift more irresistible is the thought of seeing little children waking up and discovering the puppy that was chosen specifically for them. That is a hard gift to resist.
Even now, just walking past a pet store around this time of year can be a temptation. But, it was even more true for us when the kids were growing up. Actually, no matter what time of year it was, if we walked inside a pet store, that often meant we were coming home with something that was living. The list included fish, hamsters, gerbils, and rabbits. But probably the most exciting day was when we came home with Homer, the chosen puppy.
Loved and Wanted
From the first moment our son laid eyes on the shelty-collie mix, there was no doubt this little pup was loved and wanted. While lifting that ball of fur out of the cage, our 4 year old looked him directly in the eyes and said, “If you were my dog, I would name you Homer.” So as he carried him around the store, like a sack of potatoes over his shoulder, that bond was solidly formed. This left us with a decision to make: but, how could we say no to those little eyes that had already given Homer his unconditional love? Needless to say, Homer went home with us that day.
In Scripture, numerous titles are used to describe Jesus. One of His many titles is the “Good Shepherd,” This particular one, and the examples which the Word provides, are a perfect picture of how the Father, reached out to each one of us by sending the gift of His son, Jesus, to live among us, to find us, to care for us, to be our “shepherd,” so that we could be chosen to become a member of God’s family. Jesus was and is God’s ultimate gracious gift to mankind. He was also the Father’s magnificent expression of how unconditionally loved and wanted we really are; how much He desires each one of us to be a part of His eternal family. This Christmas, may you fully experience the gift of Jesus in your heart. May you know the peace and warmth of being loved and wanted by this wonderful Lord, and may His unconditional love be with you always.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17 (NIV)