The Greatest Gift
Reading Selections December 1st – 5th
At this point I’ve read through five days of Advent readings by Ann Voskamp in her latest book, “The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas.” So far we have encountered Adam and Eve, Noah, and Abram, in some of the most profound, history-altering moments in Scripture. I keep wondering about their perception of these moments as they moved through them.
I suspect that none of them understood the reverberation their life-altering moments would have throughout all of history when they actually walked through them.
Did Adam and Eve understand that when they ate the fruit, that every human after them, save One, partook of sin and death? Did they understand the full extent of the curse until years of toiling with the earth and birthing babies had passed? Did they know that one poor decision would result in separation from their eternal Love? Did they even know there was life outside the Garden before they were put out of Eden? Did either one of them wake up that day and think, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this day,”?
When God told Noah to build the ark, what was he doing? And when he spent 120 years building the ark did he realize he was partnering with God to save a remnant of all of humanity? Did he even possess any carpentry skills? Did he know that thousands of years later a special sign and promise God made to him would speak love and hope to every other person whose ever seen a rainbow? Did he know millions of children (young and old) would smile with wonder every time they see the colors of Love displayed in the sky?
What was Abram doing when God came to him in the land of his fathers? What about the day God made a covenant with him and he believed and was counted righteous? I don’t know, but whatever he was doing, he probably did it almost every single day. Did he wake up one of those mornings and think it was somehow special?
I think all of these extraordinary moments in Scripture people were right in the middle of the day-in, day-out, ordinary moments of their lives when God decided to show up. Just like us they had jobs (so to speak), kids to raise, laundry that needed washing, homes (tents?) that needed keeping, and people that needed caring for. And when those extraordinary moments arrived and passed, just like us, I am not sure they understood the full scope and importance of what had transpired. In fact, I am almost certain they didn’t. Why? Because most of the time we don’t either.
The extraordinary dressed in the ordinary. God wrapped in humanity. All of our moments are holy and extraordinary, because He comes for us, extends Himself to us in all of them. Even when we think we are just folding the clothes, making dinner, or driving to and from work, He’s coming for us. Can you feel it?