Dad told me about 50 times that I’d better watch out, because one day that brother of mine would be bigger than me and able to lay me low.
Whatever, I said.
Of course, dad didn’t know that a few decades later I would find myself crying my way through the Celtic Woman’s Oh, Holy Night. (Aren’t they lovely in their brilliant dresses and perfect posture?)
Órla Fallon stepped forward in her light blue, floor-length gown and sang…
Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother.
And the way she said brother?
Well, it was like she really knew what it meant to have a good brother. And that got me thinking about Arie and how he has stepped up since my dad died.
The way he has taken over caring for mom and me.
The way it wrenches his heart if we are hurting.
The way he tries to fix everything it’s within his power to fix.
And how is it possible that Christ says he is our brother?
The thing about brothers is that they know everything. I mean, they remember when you tried to slam the door in their face to keep you from playing with them. They remember when you said mean things. They remember when you left them out or when you made them dress up like a girl.
Brothers know the yuck side of you.
But brothers are the ones who say, Don’t mess with my sister.
The writer of Hebrews says:
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
Hebrews 2:10-11 NIV
I remember one time my aunt served jury duty on a murder trial, and when it was over she came to our house to see her brother (my dad). She promptly fell into his arms and sobbed from the emotional strain of the trial. I remember my dad holding her tight in his arms and comforting her.
That’s what brothers do. They’re strong for you.
Dad was right. Arie did grow up to be bigger than me. Taller and stronger and more fiercely and tenderly protective than I could have ever imagined.
I imagine you’re coming into this Christmas season with some chains –maybe anxiety, sorrow, or oppressive loneliness.
Run into the arms of Christ, your big brother.
He was born to save you.