Check out this C.S. Lewis quote (thank you, Amy):
“An impersonal god? Well and good. A subjective god of beauty, truth and goodness inside our own heads? Better still. A formless life force surging through everyone; a vast power which we can all tap? Best of all. But a living God, pulling at the other end of the cord, approaching at infinite speed? The Hunter? The Covenant Lord? The Husband? That is quite another matter. There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion suddenly draw back. Supposing you really find Him? You never meant it to come to that. Worse still, supposing He found you? If there is a God, you are in a sense alone with Him. You cannot put Him off with speculations about your neighbor’s hypocrisy or memories of what you have read in books. What will all that chatter and hearsay count when the anesthetic fog we call the real world fades away, and the Divine Presence in which you have always stood becomes palpable, immediate and unavoidable?”
The birth of Christ is when God first approached humanity at infinite speed, breaking through the barrier of flesh and becoming like us. It was the beginning. The setting in motion of certain events on earth that will never be repeated and can never be trumped in importance.
Pursuing God is an active choice. It’s not for the dabblers who want a soft, feel-good religion. It’s not for those who want to construct their own images of gods.
The journey for toward the manger is for those who are desperate for that palpable Divine Presence. For those who are willing to come face to face with the God who stretched out the heavens and spoke the earth into being.
In the Old Testament, when God appears, theologians refer to this as a theophany. Think of the fourth man in the furnace in Daniel 3 or of Joshua’s encounter with the Commander of the army of the Lord in Joshua 3.
If you are serious about finding God, He will be found. It’s his promise that those who seek him with humble hearts find him.
“Those who seek me find me.” (Proverbs 8:17)
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
He’ll show up, a theophany in your life, and you’ll have that choice to make. To surrender all or continue being your own god. Even for those of us who have made that initial choice to make Jesus Lord of our lives, there are still times when our pursuit of God turns into our being found by God, when God’s Divine Presence becomes so palpable we feel it in our bones and say with Isaiah, “Woe is me.”
This Christmas, whether your journey is one of crawling (like me) or running, or laughing or crying your way to the manger, be assured that God is moving toward you–the Hunter, the Covenant Lord, the Husband.