A book that I read this time of year is God Came Near by Max Lucado. One of my favorite passages is from the chapter “Just a Moment…” (I’ve edited the passage down.)
It all happened in a moment, a most remarkable moment.
As moments go, that one appeared no different than any other…
It came and it went.
It was one of the countless moments that have marked time since eternity became measurable.
But in reality, that particular moment was like none other. For through a segment of time a spectacular thing occurred. God became a man. While the creatures of earth walked unaware, Divinity arrived.
The omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable…He who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl.
God had come near.
Think about that. The incredible miracle of that one moment in history. God made Himself available in human form to mankind. I am not a theologian and know that volumes have been written about this. But I stand in awe at the thought of the Creator humbling Himself by becoming a baby who was to be cared for by a teenage girl and her blue collar husband.
We sing songs about His Majesty “joy to the world the Lord has come, let earth receive her King.” And “hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King.” They speak of a magnificent moment — of celebration, of triumph.
But what I’m most inspired by this year is the simplicity and quietness of it all. Not the fanfare, not the energy, but of the peace, the quiet realization that in that one moment, that one magnificent moment, God came near.
In that stable, I picture Mary gazing at her new baby. The pain and fear, replaced by wonder and awe. Joseph is tired. His eyes are closed as he thanks God for sustaining them through their journey to this moment. What about in heaven? The angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds with song. But what about at that moment? Was there stillness and quiet anticipation as they watched God being born? God came near.
This year is different. Gone is the typical busyness I usually find myself absorbed with in December. This year I have space. Time to sit, to think, to read. I am afforded the opportunity to listen and reflect on what I have been blessed with this year — and the incredible gift that God gave to me when He entered this world as a baby. God came near.
I pray that you too will sit quietly and think about the miraculous nature of that moment. That you too will be filled with the joy and wonder of knowing how much God loves us. So much so that He chose to come near in such a humble way.
Merry Christmas and God Bless.
— Barb Takata