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The Value of Vast Variety

The Value of Vast Variety

Glancing at an overflowing platter of Christmas cookies and confections, I am struck by the seemingly unlimited selection. From brownies and bars to gingerbread kids and sugary snowmen, these treats have appeared throughout the past week or so. We baked a few ourselves, and others have come from friends and loved ones.

It’s almost impossible to choose which pretty little pastries to sample. Maybe that’s why we find ourselves tasting so many. The assortment is appealing.

I think God, the ultimate Creator, adores variety too.

Just look what He made. 

We can’t count the creatures. The plants in the ground and the stars in the sky are innumerable. And just look around at all the amazingly unique people He created.

My Christmas treats may come from an array of different cookie cutters, but God’s children do not. And here’s the most marvelous and miraculous part of all. He knows each one of us intimately, and He adores us! He thinks about us all the time.

“For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
   How vast is the sum of them!”
(Psalm 139:13-17, NIV)

The Bible says mankind was made in God’s image. We’re not altogether sure what that might look like, although we will one day see Him face to face, and then we will know. We will likely be overwhelmed and awed at the sight!

Jesus, the Child of Christmas and Messiah of mankind, came to earth as a baby and grew into a man. He walked in our world, touching people and changing lives. Then He died and rose again, stomping sin and death forever.

But what did Jesus look like in human form?

Archaeologists and forensic scientists have tried to reconstruct images of the Lord. But these have been somewhat sketchy suggestions at best.

Those of us who grew up in Sunday schools of various sorts probably peeked up at portraits of Jesus on classroom walls. We’ve seen stained glass windows in churches and fine art depictions in museums.

Throughout history, each image of Jesus has displayed its own artist’s perception of the Prince of Peace.

A few weeks ago, I was blessed by the opportunity to tour the Holy Land, where we visited the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. This famous Roman Catholic church marks the spot where many Christians believe the Virgin Mary was met by the angel of God, announcing that she would bear a son and call Him Jesus, the Savior of the world.

One of the many lovely features of this church, along with its astounding architecture, is a collection of murals from countries around the world. Each depicts the Madonna and Child, Mary and Jesus, in the artist’s own nationality.

The variety is amazing. Here are a few examples, so you can see what I mean. The Mother and Child are shown as African, Asian, Hispanic, Scandinavian, Slavic and many other ethnicities.

I loved it!

What a wonderful way to personalize our perceptions of our intimately personal Savior. The Lover of our Souls became like us to reach out to us where we are. Christ is all about connection, reconciling man to our Maker.

I can hardly wait to see Jesus face to face. I wonder exactly how He will look.

Related Items:

Basilica of the Annunciation – Nazareth
All photos copyrighted by Linda Ann Nickerson – Nickers and Ink

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1 comment:

  1. Can't wait! As long as He recognizes me
    and can't say, "I never knew you", I'll be happy!