The Gift

(© Very Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D.)

There was a mother who prayed often for a son, but she had never had children. Once she was with her husband at the annual meeting of all the people of God, and when she prayed with her mouth but not with words, the local minister thought she was drunk. But she told him that she was praying for a son, and that if the Lord gave her one, she would give him back to God to be in His service forever. The minister told her she would have one. She dreamed of a beautiful boy, and the Lord God gave her one. (click here)

From a small boy he was reared to honor God, and his mother taught him the Holy Scriptures. She said to him what the Lord had revealed to her about the covenant LORD, “Those who honor Me I will honor” (1 Samuel 2:30). She taught him about the glory of God in creation, how awesome He is to have created such beauty, reflecting His own glory, and so vast. (click here)

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;

and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (Psalm 19:1).

She also taught him about His glory and grace revealed in the Bible, how the God of creation loved mankind when he fell into sin, and this creator God was also the redeemer God:

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul

The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;

The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold;

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:7-10)

This mother from long ago gave her son back to the Lord when he was a small boy, and “he ministered before the LORD” (1 Samuel 2:18), “And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men” (1 Samuel 2:26). Centuries later there was another Mother who had a Son in a miraculous way, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).

This redeemer God revealed His ultimate gift, a baby boy, His own Son:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us,

in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

This Son was predestined to die for our sins (click here) and to be raised bodily from the dead so that we might have His resurrection life. (click here)

In my Christology course, I’ve been making connections with the Person of Christ in Colossians 1:15ff  with the sacraments, where He is the creator of all that is, and thus is “firstborn” over all creation, but also a few verses later He is “firstborn” over the Church. He is the firstborn over creation by nature and the firstborn over His Church by Incarnation. Thus our participation with God is real, not just external, or nominal.  We participate with the One Christ not only through His humanity but also through His divinity where Christ is the “location” for the union of creator and creation, which in turn leads to His “real” presence in the Holy Communion. (Whatever “real” means.) As one man has well stated: “If there is no sacramental participation of creation in God’s being, created objects have no inherent relationship to each other or to God.” But we are “in Christ,” as Paul loves to say, and that means we are also one in His Church.

Let us give thank to the Father for giving us His Son, and to the Son for coming in love, and for the Holy Spirit who applies the merits of Christ. AMEN. Ω