This evening my family and I went for a drive through a local neighborhood here in South Bend where just about the entire community decorates their houses for Christmas.
A few things jumped out at me. First, the number of angels that were on display this year in comparison to years past. The word "JOY" also seemed to be more prominent than what I remember.
But, the thing that stood out to me more than anything was a homemade sign that read:
Thank you, Jesus!
There was something about this language that struck me. Whereas I have heard this verb associated with Jesus before, and it is the name and part of the chorus of a song by perhaps my favorite musical group, Rend Collective (see below), seeing it in the context of lights and Santas and reindeer and Frosty and Nativity scenes framed the act of God sending His only Son in the person of Jesus Christ in a way that resonated with me deeply.
Titles like Lord and Savior are particular to Jesus in my life. Even King carries no other meaning to me outside of how Jesus occupies that throne. And, in this way, my only real association with it is in an abstract way through my faith.
I don't experience or connect with real sovereignty.
But, when I consider the act of rescuing, I can put myself in the context of an emergency situation. I can imagine myself or a loved one or even a complete stranger in danger, or hurt, or in need of immediate assistance, and those who would carry out the act of rescuing. From first responders to the military to nurses and doctors to lifeguards and good Samaritans, there are, thankfully, countless rescuers who come to the aid of others selflessly, quickly, and heroically.
So, I can put myself in the role of the one in need of rescuing. And, Jesus can easily assume the part of my rescuer.
Rescued. Thank you, Jesus.
Rescued from sin. From death. From hopelessness. From despair. From fear. From doubt. From myself.
There are two main takeaways:
- I am in need of being rescued.
- Jesus is at the ready to rescue me.
This Christmas, we will hear these words of the prophet Isaiah: "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace" (9:5).
In my mind and heart, I will also be adding "Rescuer" to this list, because I, too, have been:
Thank you, Jesus!