Thursday, December 17, 2009

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means God with us.” Matthew 1:23

My Bible study group just finished “The Newcomer’s Guide to the Bible.” It was a great journey and helped me to understand a lot more about the amazing gift that is God’s Word. One thing that I either never knew, or didn’t realize was there is 400 years between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. 400 years! That’s a really long time for complete silence. It’s hard to imagine what people must have thought. Did God die, was He angry, or did He just stop caring? Generations passed with nothing but silence.

And then it was time. He could have shaken the foundations of the earth to announce His arrival. But, no. Instead it came in the form of the sweet, soft cry on a newborn. Incredible. Can you just imagine what that must have been like for Mary? As a mom, I know the overwhelming surge of emotion that came with giving birth. But, can you even fathom knowing that you are carrying the Son of God? What a feeling that must have been for her.

And to know that the cry of her newborn baby was the announcement to the world that the silence was broken! Think about that for while. I have been thinking about this all day and I still can’t seem to think anything but pure amazement. And the news was spread when the angel of the Lord said, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) He was here. Our gift of salvation in the form of a tiny baby.

It makes me think about the gifts and blessings in life that I know I take for granted. Breath, our senses, the beauty and wonder that surround us every day. There are so many subtle, but incredible things that are so easily overlooked, we may not even think about them being gifts from God. God doesn’t have to loudly announce anything. Small, soft whispers are more than sufficient for the Creator of the Universe.

The soft cry of a baby. In a manger. In a stable filled with animals. Where no one could make room. The Savior of the earth. The One who created the stars, yet chose to come and live among us with one purpose. To save us.

It’s only a few days until Christmas and everyone is busy – shopping, wrapping, mailing, gathering, etc. All fine and wonderful things, for certain. But, I’m also hoping that in our family, we will take time to pause and reflect and relish the greatest gift of all, which came in the form of a very small, quiet package. I don’t want to overlook anything He has in store. I pray I can stay quiet long enough to hear the message.

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