When I was in the 8th grade, we moved from Connecticut to a suburb on the preppy side of Chicago, into the same neighborhood as the two most popular girls at school.

Their aura went before them, surrounding them in their straight-legged Levis and Crazy Horse shirts, while I lagged behind, worshiping right along with everyone else.

I was in such awe of them, I could hardly speak whenever they condescended to include me in conversation at the bus stop.

Patti once invited me to stay with her while her parents were away, and a few weeks later, Lynn invited me to a party at her house. I was blown right out of my Docksides and into the nether realms of wonder.

“Me? Are you sure you want me?”

This was a tiny taste of what today’s reading makes me swallow, whole-hawg (I’m a Georgia girl at heart, after all):

The God of Glory wants me.

Glory be.

Genesis 1 and 2 tell me that God created everything out of nothing, without anyone’s help. He’s the source of everything that is and everyone that exists. “In the beginning, God…” puts all of us in our place.

The sky; the earth; the sea; the sun, moon and stars; the creatures; the growing green things; the people. Nothing and no one had anything to do with making or sustaining these. In the beginning it was God—and only God—who did.

God is the Key Player, the Wise Wizard, the Mighty Magician in these first two chapters of Genesis, calling forth light and life out of chaos simply with his words, using dirt.

It’s God’s Big Show. He makes the plans. He controls the weather and seasons. He gives the food and water. He decides how it all works.

And yet, he lets human beings participate by making babies and caring for everything. In fact, he tells us that’s what it’s all about, why we’re here in the first place. He made all of this for us and then said to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it,” Genesis 1:28. It’s daunting when I think about what he’s crafted and asked us to do with it.

And here’s where awe and wonder, far beyond my middle school experience, come in and bring me to my knees: this same God of Power and Glory, the Life Force of the Universe, the Creator and Sustainer of tidal waves and pond scum, of economies and circulatory systems, of football bowl games and snacks in your easy chair, this God bends down to listen to and tend me.

“Me? Are you sure you want me?”

Yes, he does.

How do I know?

Because of what I read next.

Matthew 1 and 2 tell me what God did to make sure I’d be his. He gave Jesus, the long awaited Savior with a scandalous family tree (see *note at end), who is protected by magi, angels, and dreams plus an extended skedaddle outta town from the king who hunts him. Jesus and his family return after the king dies and settle in Nazareth, fulfilling a whole slew of prophecies with every twist-and-turn along the way. (Matthew points out 5 of these.)

Call me a narcissist, but I think God is this careful with Jesus because he loves me this much, and he wants me to know him.

How do I know this?

The gospel says that Jesus had to live the perfect life that I couldn’t live, so that he could be the perfect sacrifice in my place. Jesus had to grow up to die the death I should’ve died for my sins, because “the wages of sin is death,” Ro 6:23.

And Jesus had to conquer death by rising and coming back to life, freeing me from death, too, so that I get to live a new life forever with him, starting right now—not just one day (see He 9:24-28; Ro 6:5-14; 1 Pe 1:18-21).

It takes all this to make me his.

“Me? Are you sure you want me?”

Sure enough, the Bible says it another way next.

Psalm 1 tells me that God sees me and likes me. “How well God must like you,” the Message translation says. “Blessed” is how the NIV puts it in verse 1. He calls me a tree that never withers, one that continually bears fruit, “Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.” And he promises that whatever I do will prosper.

How can this be?

He tells me how in verses 1-5, basically, “Don’t hang out with evil people. Delight in my words, instead.” God’s holding up the cell phone slogan, saying, “It’s not complicated.” What he wants is for me to walk with him, not the wicked, and to listen to what he says.

“God charts the road you take,” verse 6 says, which tells me that God not only watches me, he guides me on my way, too, the MSG.

Let me get this straight: the Great God of all that is, who gives me Jesus—the Savior who paid for my sins—wants me and invites me to listen to him as I live my life, as I walk along on my journey, with the promise (in case I forgot) to always prosper me? Ps 1:3, NIV.

Who doesn’t want this?

God’s desire for me and for you is good news for any day, but it feels especially wonderful today, on the first day of this brand new year. It’s a fresh reminder of what is essential: who God is, what he’s done, and what he wants for us.

I just can’t get over that he loves me this much. I can’t get over his love for each of us.

*Note: Matthew’s record of Jesus’ scandalous family tree included 5 women: a whore (Rahab), a woman so desperate for a child that she seduced her father in law (Tamar), a widowed outsider (Ruth), and two fornicators, either real (Bathsheba) or rumored (Mary). For more about what this genealogy means, see the Matthew section of January 1–No End to Joy.

The Bible passages for January 1 come from The One Year Bible, 2004.

3 thoughts on “January 1–Wanted

  1. Dear Eve

    Hello from the UK. Many thanks for this beautiful post. Right in the very beginning, before anything else, the heavenly Father wanted children. So He thought it and so it came to pass. He thought of you, or foreknew you as it is written.

    I am sure you know the scripture. For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.

    Life is very easy when one understands these things, just how much the heavenly Father cares. And nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God the heavenly Father and His Son, his beautiful boy who became a Man.

    A very happy New Year and kind regards to you and your family from my wife and I

    Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson

    Please excuse the nom-de-plume, this is as much for fun as a riddle for people to solve if they wish.

    Liked by 1 person

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