He bowed the heavens and came downPsalm 18:9
Whenever my wife yells for me from another room in our house, it always means one of three things:
- Something is leaking,
- There’s a bug that needs to be killed, or
- There’s a lid that needs to be opened.
When she does this, I wish I always jumped up right away in joy to help and serve her in her time of need. But in all honesty, far too often my help is accompanied with a few grumbles and eye rolls.
But when you know someone you seriously love is in serious trouble, you go. No questions asked.
A few months ago, we got a call that our daughter had fallen off a four-wheeler at a friend’s house. The friend wasn’t driving recklessly or anything like that. Our daughter blacked out or something for some reason and fell off as they were driving down the road with her face taking the brunt of the fall. She was injured pretty bad, and because they were concerned about her having a brain bleed, they ended up airlifting her to an emergency room in a bigger city about an hour away from us.
When we got the call about the accident, my wife and I didn’t wonder if we should go to her at the hospital or not. We dropped everything we were doing and made it to that city faster than we ever had before. Thankfully she was ok and recovered quickly.
When someone you love is hurting and in need, you go to them.
And that’s exactly what Christmas is about.
At the beginning of the Exodus story of Israel, Israel is enslaved. They are suffering mightily under the harshness of the Egyptians. But their suffering was neither ignored nor forgotten by God. Instead, God said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians …” (Exodus 3:7-8)
God sees their suffering. God hears their suffering. God knows their suffering. So God comes down and rescues them.
And Israel’s rescue started with the birth of a baby. Moses.
While the Exodus story of God rescuing Israel maybe isn’t a traditional Christmas story, it definitely points us to the Christmas story.
With Christmas, all of humanity is suffering under the heavy hand of a slavemaster – sin. God sees our suffering. He hears our suffering. He knows our suffering. So he comes.
Like with the Exodus story, the ultimate rescue for our deepest need came in the birth of a baby. As the angel told Joseph regarding Mary, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
The incarnation – God becoming man so that he might die for our sins – demonstrates God’s great love for us. He loves us, so he came to us.
I’ll be forever grateful for my God who came down. He didn’t remain distant and detached. He heard me struggling to do life my own way. He saw me living for myself. He knew I was too lost in my sin to make things right myself. I was lost, so he came to me.
And he came for you too. Believe that he did. That’s what we’re celebrating at Christmas.