Grant Swank
Christmas: why all the rush?
By Grant Swank
December 16, 2008

Obviously God was in no rush for Christmas. Then why should you be in such a bustle?

If you are not careful, you will miss Christmastide. You may celebrate the Day but you may miss the Spirit of the Day.

In Genesis 3:15 we read: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."

That was God's Christmas promise after the Snake duped Eve and Adam into believing that he, not God, was deity.

God waited four thousand years from Adam to Christ to bring about His own Christmas. Of course, we recall that in the Bible it reads that with God a day is as a thousand years and vice versa.

In other words, time is for mankind. God is timeless and yet He intersects time in order to deal with mortals. However, time in no way restricts God.

I think of my own mother who soon is going to be 96.

She has been ill. And so my sister said to her, "Mom, aren't you asking Jesus to take you home to heaven? You are dealing with a lot of physical problems."

Mom replied: "No. I am asking for His healing."

Then the other night Mom was rushed to the hospital's emergency room. By the time I got her on the phone, she was in her own hospital room. My sister answered the phone. She was ecstatic.

"God is here. Christ is here in this room," she exclaimed. "Mom is now able to lift her arms above her head and clasp one hand into the other!"

Mom had suffered a stroke that left her unable to do any of that sort of thing. But that evening, God permitted her to do what was the impossible.

I replied, "God is telling us that He is in charge. We are not in charge. God is in charge."

My sister agreed. My mother got on the phone and with the clearest voice she told me all about what was going on there. She was in no way going to surrender to death. She was experiencing God's healing.

In other words, God was in no rush.

God had more moves to mold in my mother's Christian life. God wanted to squeeze out other witnesses to His power and love. And so He proceeded to do what none of us thought was possible.

This morning when taking my walk around the shores of Maine's Lake Sebago — marveling at the snow, the ice and crisp temps — I kept thinking of what messages God was giving to our family this Christmas. He was reminding us that He is in charge.

For that four thousand year time frame between Adam and Baby Jesus God was doing what He wanted to do. Through the prophets He forecast the Messiah's appearance and reign. Through saints He blossomed His holiness. Then came the moment when Mary conceived. Then came the day when Jesus was born in a barn..

Through it all, God had His way.

God did what He knew was eternally wise. God excited history with His lines, embedding them in events marvelous — too marvelous for any human to manufacture. That is why the virgin birth is beyond reason. That is why the miracles of an adult Christ are beyond logic. That is why the Risen Messiah cannot be explained.

Further, that is why the born again experience in every repentant heart is out of reach of the scientific method. And the infilling of the Holy Spirit is off the word charts.

This Christmas, rest in God.. Ask Him to show you how to slow down into His wonder. He will do it.

© Grant Swank


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Grant Swank

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., is a pastor at New Hope Church in Windham, Maine... (more)

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