2017 Advent Devo 23

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Read Luke 2:1-20

This fall, for the first time, we went stargazing as a family. We laid on a mountain slope under a moonless sky and saw the stars in a way that is only possible far from city lights.

Angie pointed out the Milky Way, planets, satellites, constellations, shooting stars and we talked about comets and the enormity of space.  All was well until Macy started crying.  She was scared, but couldn't tell us what she was afraid of. As a parent, I've learned that this type of behavior means my child is most likely exhausted... so we decided it was time to go inside.  As we got ready for bed Macy secreted to me the source of her fears, "Dad, do you know what I was afraid of outside?”  She paused for a moment and said, “space."  

I sat for a moment trying to make sense of her fears and offered a suggestion, "Maybe as you are maturing, you are understanding new concepts like space and the newness is intimidating." She didn't seem to disagree and appeared lost in thought.  She then asked, "Do you think space is too big for my little mind?" My knee jerk reaction was to assure her that nothing was too big for her to tackle, but I didn't respond right away.

Isn't the vastness and complexity of the universe too big for all of our minds?  I mentioned this thought to her, but assured her that the contemplation, wonder, and study of the universe were not too big for her mind. She soon fell asleep, but I laid awake contemplating the perspective of a child truly seeing the stars for the first time.  The vastness swallowed her and left her trembling.  

I imagine that shepherds watching their flocks the night Jesus was born suddenly realized how vast the universe was, how great that God is, when the angels appeared to them. But, then they receive good news: “your savior is born today.” The God of this vast universe, in Christ has been born to us, with us, like us.

As we enter this holiday season, consider doing a little stargazing after Christmas dinner or after visiting with family and friends.  Wander outside and experience the night sky the same way the shepherds did years ago.   Maybe, like Macy, the greatness of God’s universe will bring you to tears, knowing that in the vastness Christ is born for you.

Prayer: Christ, help our eyes to be open to opportunities for wonder and amazement.  Amen.

- Clay Stevenson




Last Published: December 12, 2017 2:08 PM
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