But when the fulfillment of the time came, God sent his Son, born through a woman, and born under the Law. This was so he could redeem those under the Law so that we could be adopted. Because you are sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son or daughter, and if you are his child, then you are also an heir through God. -Galatians 4:4-7
Well we’ve got a sick kid. . .that completes Christmas doesn’t it? (Sarcasm alert) Thank God that we have the resources for immediate antibiotics, so she’ll be good to go by Christmas Eve. When one of our kids is sick, we go into 5th gear. It becomes time for extra TLC. Need your pillow fluffed? Have enough tissues? How about a glass of water? Does your iPod need charging? Anything else I could do for you? Trust me, our kids do not get this kind of treatment all the time. But, when it’s a sick day, they get our attention.
How then did we ever get the idea that God moves away from us when we are most sick? When we need our Heavenly Parent desperately? The church’s great early leader, Paul, writes that our hearts cry “Abba” for God, which means “Dada,” a small child’s name for a parent she trusts. When it is time, God comes and swoops us into God’s arms and we become sons and daughters, cared for by the Creator of us all.
This reminds me of writer Anne Lamott’s first brush with sobriety at an AA meeting. After years of drunkenness, she grudgingly went to her first meeting with a friend. She knew these people were not like her. As she walked in, she smelled something putrid and realized the man who had walked in before her was so drunk he had just soiled himself. She waited for someone to boot him out. “Get on with it! He’s not well enough to be here!” she thought to herself. But instead she watched as two men gently came alongside him, and said, “Buddy, seems like you need some help here. Let’s get you cleaned up.” And they ushered him off to do just that. She was stunned. She says that might have been where her sobriety started: realizing you can get help even when you aren’t well enough to ask.
This is Christmas. That God redeems us, at God’s initiative, because it’s time to get us well. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!