I️ was talking to a friend last night on the phone and told her I️ was out of ideas for what to write in the school newsletter. You could almost hear the smile in her voice as she excitedly announced that I️ could start writing about Christmas. At the same time, you could almost hear my groan. You see, to understand this discussion, you need to know a little about my friend and I️. Firstly, my friend is a big romantic- you know, the kind that sees love and romance as this beautiful petal of a flower that all in the world can rejoice in? And secondly as often goes hand in hand with these romantic types- she’s also heavily into the festive seasons. I️, on the other hand, am neither a romantic, nor an overtly festive celebrator.
As a result, as she spoke the words, “oh you could write about Christmas”, my first thought was “dude! It’s not even December! I️ am not going to turn into the shops that start celebrating straight after the hot cross buns have been sold!” And yet I️ told her, “Fine. And I’ll start my newsletter like this, ‘I️ was on the phone to a romantic friend of mine last night...’” and we both laughed.
So while I️ am now writing about Christmas-though we’re still in November- I️ am reminded of the fact that our King’s journey could have begun anywhere. He could easily have chosen to be born into a King’s palace, or as Max Lucado writes, “come back as a man in another era when society wasn’t so volatile, when crosses were out of style, when people would listen better…” but He didn’t. He chose to come and be born to a poor family, with not so much as a bedroom to hear His first cries. And why? Because His heart was for us.
Ellen White writes, “The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam […] It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God's throne (Rom. 16:25, Rev. 13:8). From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through his deceptive power. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son, "that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.”
Then she continues, “Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour's life on earth, we see "God with us."
And that’s truly what He is. Our God who desires to be with us.
This Christmas, as we take off on a journey toward the manger, it’s my prayer that together we would come to find a God, unlike any other. A God who would step down from the throne of the universe, that He might bring light to a world covered in darkness, and life to those who were perishing.
May God bless us as we go on this journey together.