Room for Hope

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A few weeks ago, I met my first grandchild, four months old and absolutely perfect.

How is it possible that the presence of one little baby can infuse such life into a heart, a family, a church? I’m amazed at how vulnerable people allow themselves to be when they see a baby. They absolutely melt. They let their guard is down. Their face crinkles, their voice goes up an octave and nobody ever cares if they look silly.

A new life brings renewed faith and the reassurance that we will continue to live on.

I think of how God in His wisdom so perfectly thought out the plan for our restoration – to have His only Son come as a new baby. In quiet innocence, not with a flash of lightening or a blazing bush or parting of seas… just humble relief.

As most of Bethlehem slept, light filled a dusty stable, and in a newborn’s faint cry God whispered Hope:

“Here is my offer of what is most precious to me – my Son. He is my presence, my peace and my promise for reconciliation and new life.”

Although a divine moment, many missed it. They didn’t realize the Savior had come. They were watching for something bigger, louder and more complicated. They were looking for a deliverer accompanied by much fanfare, who would overthrow the current government and set up a new kingdom on Earth.  An obvious Messiah, not a humble one.

But God’s heart did not desire revolution, but restoration. He did not send His Son to condemn or correct us, but to connect with us.

For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:16-17.)

God reaching for us

God coming to us.

God came quietly,  not with a show of His power, not with flood or fire or earthquake, but instead, through an innocent babe, helpless and vulnerable. The very definition of Hope.

Holy and almighty God breathed life into the Promised One, who can be our hope for new life in relationship with Him. It’s as if God said,

“Let me show you what it is to be humble. Let me show you how great My love is for you. I want to experience everything you do, so that we can understand one another.”

Surely there must be a catch. This sounds too simple, too easy. Who gives a gift without expecting something in return? Who loves regardless of who we are, in spite of anything we have done, and without any conditions?

It’s not humanly possible. But it is divinely possible.

Divine possibility. Heaven come to Earth. The fulfillment of the promise foretold by ancient prophecy, where the Sacred transformed the ordinary in a supernatural act of redemption and restoration, making Grace available to all.

To all those with the faith to believe that there is more. That this is not all there is, that there is a realm of spirit more real and wonderful that we could ever imagine, and He is available to us.

To all those who believe that miracles didn’t just happen 2000 years ago, but that they can still happen today.

And this is the miracle:

“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” (Romans 3:22)

The promise we’ve been waiting for has already been fulfilled. We continue to seek, not recognizing that He is right in front of us.

We argue with minds filled with science – as if it contradicts theology – that in order to believe we must have proof.

We block the door to our hearts with a giant No Vacancy sign saying, “Still No Room.”

We insist that in order to believe we must see; yet it is only when we believe that we will truly see.

Because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:29.)

Perhaps we do see, but we are afraid of what we may have to let go of in return.

Or maybe we think we have to clean up our lives first.

But God can redeem any heart, even a filthy stable of a heart, to create a worthy place for His Son.

For Christ can only be born in us if we invite Him in.

And while we impatiently wait for a promise, the Promised One waits patiently for our hearts.

So even if there is just the smallest corner in your heart, the tiniest part of you that still hopes, still seeks, still believes in miracles…take down the No Vacancy sign. Make room. Invite Him in.

We can be His Bethlehem this Christmas.