This week, a few days before Christmas, an expectant mother birthed and buried her long-awaited baby girl.
Lillian, which means, “My God is a vow” in Hebrew, was born without breath at thirty-two weeks. But the Father who knit Lillian together; her God and her parents’ God; He is a vow.
The Father who spoke a beloved daughter into being; who knew her intimately, body and soul, from the foundation of time; He is a vow.
The God who called his girl-child by name and loves her as his own; He is a vow.
The King of heaven who became a vulnerable human baby; who suffered and sorrowed; who offered his innocent life so that nothing would ever be able to separate Lillian’s precious life from his own; He is a vow.
The Living God who descended into the dread of hell to smash in the teeth of death; He is a vow.
The anchor-hope of the Christian is that our God not only keeps his vows but that he is a vow. He has staked everything on his own unbreakable and life-giving word. And his word is this: The God of all creation will dwell with his family in shalom forever.
For wherever God is there is wholeness of life. Wherever God is there is a fullness of joy. Wherever God is there is gladness of body and soul.
The crippled get up and dance; the dead arise and eat; the cold ashes of heartbreak and grief are forged into a living promise of unending beauty wherever God dwells.
Where God is Lillian now is. And she is fully and perfectly herself just as God in his goodness created her to be. For her God and ours is a vow.
Shalom to you and yours this Christmas.