I pulled a magazine out of my mailbox yesterday (yes, I still get some the old-fashioned way), and it boasted of an entire article featuring items that would immediately give your home that lived-in, collected-over-the-years, look. Apparently, to achieve this style, all you had to do was buy some of these new items-turned-instant heirlooms.

Instant heirlooms.

Those two words together sound like an oxymoron to me. One speaks of immediacy, while the other speaks of an expanse of time and sacrifice and care. But, together? Can there be anything instant about an heirloom?

My family is big on heirlooms. In fact, my dad just brought over an old croquet set that had been in my great uncle’s house, probably since the turn of the last century. It had been stored to retain a remarkable integrity for such an old, wood piece.

We don’t have a lot of items of high monetary value. You wouldn’t, for instance, find many of our things bringing in the big money at the closest Sotheby’s auction. But they do have a lot of family memories and rich stories attached to them that make them valuable to us. They are proof that our ancestors were real folks who lived real lives (and who apparently had real fun!) and thought it important to care, and even sacrifice, for a few precious things that would serve as familial touchstones to future generations.

It occurs to me that God did this very thing with His own Son. Jesus was grown and cared for over a period of 33 years before His ministry on earth ever began. Though fully divine, He was a real person who lived a real life, and because of that, serves as a touchstone for any experience we might encounter on this earth. Beyond the value of the choicest treasure to His Father, Jesus was sacrificed for us, so that we could never be separated from Him. He took on the monstrosity of our sin so that we could face a certain and bright future. He is a precious heirloom to the believer, whom, upon receiving, makes us co-heirs with Him. And when we but accept this gift of care and sacrifice, we receive it in an instant.

An instant.


Maybe there’s something to the idea of an instant heirloom, after all.