Monday, December 19, 2005

A Child Is Born

"Oir rugadh dhuinne-cloinne, thugadh dhuinne mac; agus bithidh an uachdaranachd air a ghualainn; agus goirear mar ainm dheth, Iongantach, Comhairliche, and Dia cumhachdach, an t-Athair siorruidh, Prionnsa na sithe!"

For those of you who don't read Gaelic, the above is Isaiah 9:6 -- "For unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder: and his name will be Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

I didn't fully appreciate those words until the day -- over sixteen years ago now -- when Duncan arrived in our world. After the difficult birth was over and I heard the nurse say, "You have a son", Kami was taken away to rest and I walked down to the hospital chapel to pray. Once in, I could only look at the cross on the wall and say, choking back tears, "Thank you," again and again and again. I couldn't believe that God would love us so much to give us another child, a son. We thought our line would die out with me. I was the first son of the first son going back for hundreds of years, but that seemed to be over. We weren't sure Kami could bring another child into the world so we contented ourselves with our wonderful daughter.

And then a surprise. God gave us a son.

A couple of weeks later I sat in the worship services holding my boy. There has never been a man more proud and content than I was at that moment... until I heard the bread break during Communion. It became real to me in that split second. It overwhelmed me that "oir is ann mar sin a ghradhaich Dia an saoghal..." That God so loved the world that He gave his son. He gave his son.

I hugged Duncan more tightly and said, through tears, "not my son." I couldn't imagine giving up anything this precious to anyone but especially to a people who would reject and kill him.

To this day, when I see the flurries, the tinsel, the trees and lights, and hear the carols I think back to what a gift was given us. We have His Son. He gave us His Son. Whether I find myself walking around Great Lakes Crossing mall, driving to the office, or standing on a windswept moor on the Isle of Skye watching the Atlantic waves crash against the rocks I make sure that -- every day -- I remember what God did for us.

He gave us His Son. Joy to the World.


At 12/19/2005 01:29:00 PM , Blogger Scott Gampp said...


At 12/19/2005 02:37:00 PM , Anonymous BJ said...

Lovely job, Patrick. And I was delighted to discover your web log (and an update on the Meads--how can your children be adults now?!)through your Christmas card.

Merry Christmas to all. We still miss you in Ohio!


At 12/19/2005 04:12:00 PM , Blogger Niki said...

I felt some of those same things the day my first child, a son, was born. Ofcourse I was pretty exhausted and a little out of it, but I clearly remember thinking, no gaining an ounce of understanding of the sacrifice made for me. The horror of giving up my only son was too much to bear on that day, and this one. What amazing love God has for us! I am so thankful for his gift!

At 12/19/2005 04:30:00 PM , Blogger DJG said...

Amen! Joy to the World.....Such love is truly greater than my mind can comprehend.

At 12/19/2005 06:28:00 PM , Blogger Cheetah, the cheetah said...

Jared rolled his car on Christmas Eve several years ago. Though he'd left a message on the answering machine saying he was fine, as I come upon the scene of the accident and saw his car upside down all I could think was, "my son! my only son!" I clutched him and cried while they pulled his car out of the ditch.

And as I've watched him stand before a congregation and do what God has called him to do since childhood--preach--, I pray that Christians will be good to my son. My only son. I could never give him up either and cannot bear the thought of anyone hurting him.

How it must have hurt God to see His only Son suffer.....

At 12/19/2005 11:48:00 PM , Blogger Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

I understand how you feel about your son and about God's son. You know I do, because I wrote about my son last Saturday at Grace Notes and you identified very much. We are both proud of our sons and for all the right reasons.

Perhaps this is why God gave us sons - and daughters - so that we could so richly and deeply identify with Him in what He did to offer His son, who was perfect, for us, who are so unworthy.

I've now GOT to listen to Handel's Messiah here in my computer and be filled with all of the overwhelming power of "Unto Us A Child Is Born" - those glorious words and being.

Thanks for the thoughts this "Christ-Mas" week.

At 12/20/2005 08:37:00 AM , Blogger Jeff Slater said...

Excellent thoughts, Patrick.

I'd like to put this in our church bulletin this week, with your permission of course.


At 12/20/2005 10:40:00 AM , Blogger Bill said...

After my son was born, I too had a better understanding of what God had done for me. I believe that is why He chose to sacrifice Jesus. It is a gift beyond our comprehension. Everyone struggles to understand God's great love for us, but as parents, we have been blessed with a special insight.

My son and daughter are grown now, and when their visits home are over, I hug them just a little longer and a litter harder before sending them off again.

May we all love more, love stronger, love deeper this Christmas season.

At 12/20/2005 10:54:00 AM , Blogger PatrickMead said...

Jeff (and all), you never need my permission to use anything I say or write. And you never need to attribute it to me. I don't copyright anything I do and it is freely given. I am humbled that you want to use it!

Nollaig sona agut!
(Merry Christmas to you all)

At 12/20/2005 01:10:00 PM , Blogger Jason Retherford said...


Powerful thoughts! Children have a way of helping us see the heart of God. Thank you for sharing this little episode from your families' history

At 12/21/2005 07:37:00 AM , Anonymous Dan Gill said...

Thank you, Patrick. I still remember holding my firstborn son and thinking that I finally understood a little of what God went through at the cross. I couldn't imagine giving him up for a pack of people like me. Gradually, God led me to the place where I could give him (and my other two children) to God himself. That was hard, but it was a big step for me.

At 12/21/2005 12:53:00 PM , Blogger David U said...

Patrick, thanks for this special post. I have told many people that NOTHING impacted my view and perspective of God more than when I had my two boys. Like you, I can't imagine giving either one of them up....for ANYBODY. Especially for a bunch of yea-hoos and "no count" folks like......well, like me and you. :)

Thanks again brother! Keep em coming!




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