Last weekend was the christening of little Jane Elizabeth. She was baptized with the name Janja, a Croatian word meaning “little lamb.” Janja is also the dear woman Jane was named for.
When Jane’s mama asked about a special blanket for the occasion, she had already searched this website and found the blanket I made for my own granddaughter’s baptism. What a pleasure it was to recreate this sweet lamb!
There was a small but meaningful bond I had with Jane Elizabeth as I worked on this for her—for my “maiden” initials (pre-marriage) are JEM too.
Blessings on your christening and most especially on your life, Janja. Such a wonderful name you have!
I have written about sheep before at Christmas, here and here, and once at Easter, here. I’m at it again. (Honestly, I relate to the creatures: more timid and quiet than not, mildly inattentive, and never comfortable standing out in a crowd. But…enough about me. I’m getting uncomfortable.)
So. What follows here is a roundabout sheep-and-shepherd story in time for Christmas.
Our granddaughter Miriam (a year old this month) was baptized in October. To note the significance of the day, I decided to give her a blanket as a gift. I hope I’m able to give her several more through the years! But this first one needed to convey something especially meaningful.
As she and her parents marked the sign and the seal of God’s grace in her life through baptism, there was one message I really wanted young Miri to know: That when you stray, when you err, when you’re lost, embarrassed, in pain, you have a Shepherd. He knows you, loves and cares for you, and he will set aside his flock to come after you.
“Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” ’ ” (Luke 15:3-6)
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your birth at Christmas, for becoming a sacrificial sheep yourself, for living again as the Good Shepherd who looks after his sheep. And then! For chasing down an awful lot of wanderers and for celebrating each and every rescue. Happy Earth-birthday, sir!