It was an ordinary day as I pulled out onto the highway. The late morning traffic was light and my mind wandered as I drove the familiar route, alone for the moment, a rare pleasure in my busy days.
As I approached the quiet downtown area, I slowed. Up ahead, at a cross street, I caught sight of a familiar navy blue truck. My heart did a crazy little flippy thing, an automatic response that happened almost before it registered that it was my husband, now crossing the highway on his way home.
Smiling, I continued on. I mused on the fact that this man, whom I have been married to for 23 years, could still trigger such a lovely response. He wasn’t doing anything special and hadn’t even known I was watching, yet my heart had done its skippy jig all the same. Feeling warmed, I couldn’t wait to finish my errand and get back home.
I didn’t think much of it until a couple of days later. I was reading a passage from this Advent book I’d recently purchased. It’s called From Heaven, by A.W. Tozer and these bits just leaped out at me.
“He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” John 1:11
In earlier verses in John’s gospel record, we have read in remarkably brief and simple words of the eternal past and of the eternal Son. We are told that from the beginning He was God; that He made all things, and that in Him was light and that in Him was life.
Surely, these powerfully simple words and phrases are at the root of all theology. They are at the root of all truth.
How thrilling it is for us, then, to receive in these two words, He came, the confirmation of the incarnation, God come in the flesh!
I confess that I am struck with the wonder and the significance of the limitless meaning of these two words, He came. Within them the whole scope of divine mercy and redeeming love is outlined.
All the mercy God is capable of showing, all of the redeeming grace that He could pour from His heart, all of the love and pity that God is capable of feeling—all of these are at least suggested here in the message that He came!
The coming of Jesus Christ into this world represents a truth more profound than all of philosophy, for all of the great thinkers of the world together could never produce anything that could even remotely approach the wonder and the profundity disclosed in the message of these words, He came!
These words are wiser than all learning. Understood in their high spiritual context, they are more beautiful than all art, more eloquent than all oratory, more lyric and moving than all music—because they tell us that all of mankind, sitting in darkness, has been visited by the Light of the world!
Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you’ve ever heard? If not, I urge you to read it again. Read it out loud. Read it and chew on it and soak in the wonder of it. He came!
Now, to be honest with you, my heart doesn’t jump every time I see my husband. And I have to admit that often times when the holidays are looming my heart is untouched by the magnitude of what it is we celebrate. They say that familiarity breeds contempt, but I think it’s more accurate to say that familiarity breeds apathy. Would you agree?
But after that unexpected moment where my heart danced at the sight of my man, I could suddenly see the beauty of Mr. Tozer’s words and my apathy dissipated, replaced instead by a gratitude that fills me even now with the joy of anticipation.
As we head into the home stretch to Christmas, I encourage you to take a moment, find a place of quiet, sit and think, and remember. Remember what it felt like when your heart did that flippy thing, when your beloved first told you they loved you. Or maybe that moment when your dad or someone else you idolized showed up for something important. Remember the thrill of knowing someone loves you, that they were willing to show up for you.
And think on those two words as they apply to our Father. He came! He showed up…for you. For me. And may we find an indescribable joy in these two little words even in the midst of the chaos of the season! Amen?
Photo by Gino Santa Maria at bigstockphoto