believe it or not i am a nerd… a class a geek…i know the all of the dialog to the first three star wars movies, the originals.
you see, i grew up in a very remote part of northern california near the border of oregon. being so far out we had a wonderful view of the night time sky where i could see the milky way, our galaxy in all of its glory.
in the 80’s when haley’s comment came through i was able to see it without a telescope. this fascination with the stars lead me to wonder about the galaxy and space and as such i gravitated naturally to science fiction. i grew up truly wanting to live a long time ago, in a galaxy far away.
one thing that all science fiction deals with is the pure vastness of the universe – these sweeping space operas all deal with interstellar travel and they make great assumptions in how it can be practically accomplished.
this is necessary because the universe is really big.
the universe and all of creation is so big that we cannot begin to even describe its size – other than to say that earth is a certain size; and the solar system is a certain size; and the galaxy is made up of billions of other solar systems; and the universe is made up of billions upon billions of galaxies.
as we celebrate the birth of Christ this season, the advent of our salvation, we often forget the enormity of that cosmic realization.
the other day my son and i were hanging out outside goofing off waiting for mom and sister – he grabbed me in aghast amazement and said “we are outside! the whole wide wide world! it is soooo big” – he was fully immersed in that cosmic realization – the vastness of it all.
i often wonder why our response this time of year isn’t the same? in the entire enormity of everything – God gave us the greatest promise of all – the promise of a messiah – the promise of an eternal hope – the promise of an eternity spent with him.
over 300 times in the old testament God used the prophets and the father’s of our faith to deliver this promise to his people. take for example Isaiah 9:6-7:
“for a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
and the government will rest on his shoulders;
and his name will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, eternal father, prince of peace.
there will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
on the throne of david and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
from then on and forevermore.
the zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”
in these 8 lines of text God, through his prophet Isaiah, delivered fourteen prophecies about Christ:
- he will be born a child
- he will be born a son
- he will be over all governments/rulers
- he will be the wonderful counselor
- he will be the mighty God
- he will be the eternal father
- he will be the prince of peace
- his rule will grow beyond our imagination
- his peace will grow beyond our imagination
- he will be a descendant of david
- he will rule over david’s kingdom
- he will establish a new/different kingdom – a new israel
- his rule will be just and righteous
- his rule will last forever
so not only do we have a God who creates big – we have a God who promises big.
i don’t know about you, but if i made 14 promises in the span of 8 lines of text i would spend the rest of my life worrying about not messing it up – let alone about fulfilling it.
but just as God, in his super-infinite-awesome-greatness, created life, the universe, everything – he made an amazingly big promise – his promise was this:
even though we have made a mess of his creation (the small part the we see) and of ourselves, he will give us a messiah, a savior – to come and bring us back to him. isn’t that exciting.
think about it for one second, just sit and think about how huge the universe is. many brilliant men have spent their lives trying to grasp that question and at the end of it all, they all say the same thing – the more we discover, the more we discover we don’t know.
God’s super-immense-greatness cannot be understood through our imaginations. that is a chilling thought – that through our own selves we can never begin to grasp anything more than a fleeting glance at the nature of our creator.
now think about this: in all of the entirety of creation – God, who knows intimately everything he ever created – singled out a single world out of this expanding infinitum to love – and in that world of billions – God loves so much that he singled out you, me, all of us.
as the psalmist writes in Psalm 139:13:
“for you formed my inward parts;
you wove me in my mother’s womb.”
God knew you, loved you before you were even born.
what we are here to celebrate is more than just the miracle of a virgin birth, it is more than the wonderfulness of a savior, it is more than just the advent of our messiah.
what we choose this time of year to celebrate is that an infinite God, who created an infinite universe, loved us with an infinite love, and singled us out from his infinite creation, and fulfilled the promises he made and gave us a savior, a hope, a reason to believe.
and God, in his infinite greatness, did not do this with a sword or a hammer, but in becoming part of his own creation, accomplished all of this in the most unexpected and simplest of ways – by being human.
the singularily most impressive feat in the entirety of all of creation is not creation itself, but it is this promise: that the God of the universe, the object of man’s speculation and imagination since the very dawn of time, would care so much about you – an infinitely small spec in an infinitely immense universe – that he would listen to the cries of our hearts – our sincere and deep yearning for a connection to him, and give you, give me, give all of us – the promise of a messiah, so that none of us would be separated from him.
and then he fulfilled that promise.