I have been a father for quite some time now and as such, I have had the chance to watch many hours of children’s programming. To date one of my favorites remains the old PBS cartoon Clifford the Big Red Dog. I think what I love most about the story, is captured beautifully by the theme song which played at the beginning of every episode:
“Clifford needed Emily, so she chose him for her own; And her love made Clifford grow so big, that they had to leave their home.”
I smile every time I think about it because this simple but profound truth, which is so adorably illustrated through the interaction of Emily Elizabeth and Clifford, is, in fact, the heart of the Gospel of Yeshua.
For just as Clifford was a small puppy whom Emily Elizabeth (whose names mean loyal & the God of the Covenant) fell in love with and took for her own, so also were each of us lost – without God and without Hope – but the Father sought us out, choosing us in the Son before we were ever even born (Ephesians 1:3-2:9). But it is not just that God chose us that correlates, but also that just as the love of Emily Elizabeth gave her tiny puppy his massive size as an adult, it is God’s love for us which transforms us as well (Ephesians 2:10).
You see Emily gave Clifford her heart first and because she did so, he gave her his.
This is Grace. This is the Way of the Cross. This is what the Love of Messiah does.
For God never drives us with Law, He draws us with Love.
He invites us to come. To be reasonable. To be transformed.