1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:1-5 (ESV)
Brennan Manning used to tell a joke about two Jewish men and a rabbi. The first Jewish man walked into temple one day looking distraught. He walked up to the second man and said, low and sad, “A terrible thing has happened. My son has become a Christian!”
The second Jew grabbed the first by the arm. Leaning in close, he said quietly, “Boy, have I got some news for you! My son is also a Christian.”
“This is awful!” exclaimed the first man. “Come – we need to talk to the rabbi about this.”
So the two Jewish gentlemen approached the rabbi. “Teacher, we need your advice. Our sons have become Christians.” The rabbi was alarmed. “Follow me.”
The three men hurried off to the rabbi’s office and closed the door. Leaning in close to the two men, the rabbi said, “Boy, have I got some news for you! My son is a Christian as well! Come, let’s pray to our Lord God and seek His direction on this.”
The three men knelt before God and earnestly prayed about their sons’ conversion to Christianity. Suddenly from above, they heard the loud, booming voice of the Lord: “Boys, have I got some news for you!…”
Advent begins today. From now until Christmas, we wait for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Not only that, we wait also with great anticipation the return of our Lord Jesus. It is a time to seek the Lord, to draw near to God knowing He will draw near to us (James 4:8).
Why is it so important to draw near to God? It is only through Him that we have life in the first place. He is our creator, our sustainer, our source of all we need.
And, as anyone who has seen a crowd shot on a televised sporting event knows, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
It is ever so amazing that the God of the Universe – the One Who hung the stars and created the heavens and earth and all that live upon it; the One Who formed man from dirt and breathed life into our nostrils; the One Who is three – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – Who were all there at creation (as they always have been); this One True God Who is above all, including our frail abilities to fully grasp Him in His entirety, is also Our Loving Father Who is approachable.
We can go to Him. We can talk to Him. Anytime. Anywhere.
We can have a relationship with Him. We can trust Him. We need to trust Him.
And you cannot truly trust a stranger.
The better we know God, the more we love Him, the more we trust Him, the more we grow in Him.
Over the next weeks, we’re going to get to know God better. We’re going to see what He has to say and learn to trust Him more.
I hope you come along on the advent journey with me because, boy, has He got some news for you!