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God Comes from Afar to Draw Us Near

“The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” John 1:14

It’s a quiet morning at my house. The Christmas tree sits in the corner of the living room, its crystal lights giving off a soft glow. Holiday melodies echo through the hall, reminding me that Immanuel is nearby. I gaze outside the kitchen window, expecting to see poofs of snow drifting from the sky, creating a glistening carpet of white below.

Instead, on this unusually warm December day, the yard is blanketed with Oak leaves, and as the wind rustles softly through the air, the chimes dancing while the trees continue to drop their leaves, preparing for new life in the seasons to come.

In the stillness, I am reminded of the creation story in Genesis 1. When God called the earth to green up and spoke the seed-bearing plants and every matter of tree into existence. And there they were, to become home for his winged creatures, a playground for the squirrels, and shade for the weary. And he called it good.

God comes from afar to draw us near.

From a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness, God created something beautiful. Not just for himself, but for us. To commune with us in his creation.

Recently a package arrived from Colorado. Not a package wrapped in brown parchment and tied with twine, or a brightly colored envelope sealed with a stamp. Instead, it was a package with two arms and two legs, a gracious heart, and a gentle spirit. It was God embodied in the life of a dear friend.

As I sat with her drinking coffee, I was reminded of God’s provision of friendship in the Proverbs. He sends friends to stick by us, to love us through the tough times, to forgive us when we fail, and to pick us up when we fall.

God comes from afar to draw us near.

From the expanse of the universe to the planet Earth, over the mountains and across the plains of Kansas, God sends his sweet friendship. Not just for me, but for us. To carry our burdens and refresh our souls.

John 1 tells us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God. And that Word became flesh and dwelled among us. And when the Word had fulfilled His mission, He ascended to heaven, leaving himself behind in the form of the Holy Spirit and his written Word.

A few days ago, I sat in the lobby during staff prayer, reflecting on my experiences the last few weeks and how the joyous memories were often connected in some way to the wounds of my past. I had many emotions – from anxiety and annoyance to love and gratefulness. And shame. Plenty of shame. Yet the Holy Spirit met me in the words of Psalm 25 –those who put their trust in the Lord will not be put to shame.

God comes from afar to draw us near.

Through our past trauma and the pain of our present, in green pastures and by still waters, God gives us his Spirit and the promises of his Word. Not just for us, but for the world. To give us hope and guide us in truth.

God is longing to draw you close. How is he reaching out to you this Advent season?

To continue walking with God in this idea, join us for “God Came from Afar to Bring Us Near,” our candlelight Christmas Eve services, at 5 and 6:30 pm.

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