Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Priceless Collection

           What do you collect?

            I used to collect sandcastles. Not the ones high tide washes away. The permanent ones you can buy in shops on the boardwalk. Every summer on vacation in Ocean City, New Jersey, I carefully chose another sandcastle to bring home.

            Now I collect teddy bears. Most of them spend most of the year in plastic bins in the basement or attic, but they move to the living room in December. They are my Christmas bears, dozens of them. And my Hanukkah bears, three or four of them. And a few assorted non-bears like sheep and dogs and even a moose. But mostly bears. I often can’t resist adding to my plethora of bears; I especially like rescuing cast off bears from thrift stores.
A fraction of my bears

            Does Jesus collect anything?

            Today’s devotion in the Secret Place surprised me. Author John A. Fischer points out that we are God’s gift to Jesus. I had to read that sentence twice. And underline it. “…God has given us to Jesus as a gift.” I’m used to thinking of Jesus as God’s gift to me, but I never thought of myself as God’s gift to Jesus. And yet there it is in John 17:24, a sentence in Jesus’ prayer the evening of his arrest, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

            Jesus collects people given to him by his Father. He loves and treasures them. Even though he has a plethora, many sets of ninety-nine, Jesus searches for the ones who are cast off and ragged. (See Luke 15.)
See the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15.

            Who would have ever thought a girl from Park Ridge, New Jersey would become part of a priceless collection? And yet I am. And you can be, too.

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