In one of my favorite books, Basic Christianity, by John Stott, one finds these words:
“You can never take God by surprise. You can never anticipate him. He always makes the first move. He is always there ‘in the beginning’. Before man existed, God acted. Before man stirs himself to seek God, God has sought man. In the Bible we do not see man groping after God; we see God reaching after man.” p. 11
In those words we find the essence of the Christian faith. The human race was separated from God by sin. No human being was able to bridge that gap but God took the initiative and did what we could never do. He reached out to us by sending his own Son into the world to become part of it. The second person of the Triune God became an unborn child in Mary’s womb, was born in a stable in Bethlehem, and lived among the people whom he had created.
That is the wonder of Christmas.
It is my prayer that among the busyness of the Christmas season you will find those moments to contemplate the miracle of the incarnation.
On that first Christmas night God sent angels to a group of shepherds. Those angels announced the birth. The shepherds heard their message and went into the town to investigate. They found the baby just as the angels had told them they would. We don’t know what happened when they got there but it made enough of an impact on those shepherds that they told everyone whom they met. Luke tells us that everyone who heard their story was amazed.
Amazement should always be our response to Christmas. May you know something of the wonder of this special season this year.