The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Mrs. Jones (not her real name) grabbed my hand as we said our goodbyes after conducting a service at a local retirement community. She usually speaks very little, but today she looked at me intently.
"I like her" she said, nodding toward Frances who was busy placing my guitar in its case and gathering the rest of our gear. Mrs. Jones continued. "And I like you." This touched my heart, and I began to respond. "Why thank you, Mrs. Jo…" She stopped me by continuing her thought. "But most of all" she concluded with a big smile and a look of utmost seriousness, "I like you and her together!"
Gulp! I was so touched I could not immediately reply. When I could, I simply said - and even more, felt - "Me too, Mrs Jones!" Interestingly, Mrs. Jones made her comment on the 42nd anniversary of the first full day of Frances and my life together. We began courting on January 23rd, 1977. So, we saw Mrs. Jones' affirmation as a gift from the Lord who brought us together all those years ago, and who continues to immeasurably bless our shared life with Him.
Wonderfully, an even greater truth of "Together" lies in the relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and His church.
"Behold I and the children which God hath given Me" (Hebrews 2:13).
The Lord Jesus speaks these words regarding Himself and the Blood-washed, Spirit-renewed sons and daughters of God who trust in Him. When God the Father sees His Son, He sees us. When He sees us, He sees His Son. He sees us together, spiritually united forever, and doubtless rejoices in a measure of love and affection we cannot imagine.
"As the body is one and hath many members, so also is Christ" (I Corinthians 12:12).
Note that the Apostle Paul refers not only to the Head of the body as Christ, but also to the body as Christ. Of course, this does not mean that believers are Christ, nor are we Him. However, we are so spiritually united with our Lord that our Father views us as inseparable. Because we are. "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). The most beautiful Biblical analogy of this truth involves the Old Testament laws regarding indentured servants.
"If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children, I will not go out free, then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him forever" (Exodus 21:2-6).
After his prescribed time of service, an indentured servant could go forth in freedom. However, a caveat - an exception of love - existed in the contract. If the servant had married, he could not leave with his wife or their children. They must remain with the master. If a servant loved his family, he could declare "I will not go out free!" The declaration indentured the servant to his master for a lifetime. Moreover, a physical token tangibly revealed the love, the obligation, and the servitude. The servant would bear physical wounds that confirmed for a lifetime his sacrifice and devotion. "I will not go out free!"
Of His beloved bride, the church, the Lord Jesus declares, "I will not go out free!" At the highest cost to Himself, He redeemed us from our sins and spiritually united His heart with our own. He bears tangible wounds to confirm and forever seal the union. "Behold My hands and my feet" (Luke 24:39). He will never be as He was before His incarnation, suffering, and resurrection. He left Heaven as the Son of His Father, a glory that existed "before the world was" (John 17:5). He returned as the Son of His Father, but also as the Husband of His church. Mrs. Jones illuminates us regarding this wonder. God the Father loves His Son. He loves us. And most of all, He loves us together. I close here. I have no more words to even attempt further consideration, other than "Thank you, Mrs. Jones! And thank You, Heavenly Father!"
"Christ... loved His church, and gave Himself for it."
"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Weekly Memory Verse
But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, o God, is forever and ever, a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom."