Thursday, December 26, 2013

In the quiet…

God still comes in the still and the quiet; the soft and the slow, just like he did on that first Christmas.
Jesus didn't come with a thunder or mighty flame. The fanfare was minimal, to say the least. A few wise men and shepherds. This wasn't an affair that drew what would have been considered celebrities or powerful authorities of the day. The event of Jesus' coming was hidden away.
Today Jesus comes in the same way.   We may meet him in the quietest of moments and humblest of surroundings. If we aren't careful we might miss Him entirely. If we get caught looking for something flashy to signal the coming of the King we might not realize that He has come and is right here, right now.
At Christmas time we are reminded that Jesus came on a mission to be the ultimate and final sacrifice for lost, sinful people. We are reminded that His mission started in a stable, born of a virgin. The mission, the most crucial of missions that would lead to a cross and the salvation of the whole human race by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, began in the most unassuming of circumstances.
As we celebrate this Christmas season and the gift of our Savior, let us not forget how He comes. Our lives are dotted with encounters with Him that easily be missed if we don't know how He comes.
Yesterday I had the beautiful reminder of how simply God shows Himself. There was one gift that I had wanted for Christmas but I didn't vocalize my desire to anyone and didn't scratch it down on a list. I  debated whether or not to just pipe up and ask. The desire of my heart was a new cross necklace but I don't like asking for jewelry. To me, jewelry is one of those gifts you just want to receive, not one you ask for.
So, I didn't ask. Instead I sent my request to God and laid it down at His feet. The gift of a cross necklace wouldn't make or break my Christmas. It's just a material possession. In my heart I knew all those things and knew that God would see to it that if I was meant to get a cross, I would. And if He didn't want me to have it then I would rest in the knowledge that He wanted me to learn a different lesson, maybe one that strengthened my happiness and joy regardless of the gifts under the tree.
As I said my silent prayer I was immediately comforted. The words were almost audible, "don't worry, you'll get your cross." As I walked through stores, running across tables full of little crosses, I held onto those words, believing that God's care reaches to even the small and simple desires of my heart.
On Christmas morning the thought of that cross wasn't on my mind as I began to open gifts but it only took a moment for me to be reminded. In my stocking, my first gift to open, all wrapped in tissue paper, was a small silver cross.
My heart was overwhelmed with the presence of my King who came as a tiny baby in a manger. He didn't come wrapped in a big red bow or with applause and banners waving. But He came. And here He was again, showing Himself to be my constant Companion, mighty Savior and all-sufficient Provider. He didn't need to show me His love with a big flashy gift decked out with all the bells and whistles money can buy. He showed me in the most precious of ways - with a small, delicate silver cross. It was perfect. Just like that baby in a manger.
Jesus is still present and active in the lives of those who seek Him. He may show Himself in a whisper or the quietness of a falling snow. But listen carefully. Look closely. He is there with mighty power and all consuming love.
Christmas is a special time for us to celebrate the small baby that gave the greatest gift. The perfect child, born in a manger, brought the path to eternal life. In His life, death and resurrection He has paved the way for those who surrender to Him.
Much of the world missed the coming of the King on that first Christmas. They didn't expect Him to come in a stable amidst farm animals and hay. But He came in a way the world would never have imagined. He still comes in that same way today. In the soft, still and quiet He comes.
Dear friend, don't miss Him.

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