The Earth Shattering Gasp

12:08 PMHeather

Perfection.  No flaw or fault.  No sin or mistake.  No death.  No sickness.  No tears.  Complete.  Whole.  Perfect peace.  Perfect joy.  Unstained by the failures of our human nature.  Lit by the Light of the World.  Angels singing continually, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.  Who is and was and is to come."  Every moment spent in the presence of God.  Streets of gold.  Beauty in colors this world has never dreamed to conceive.  Heaven.  A place beyond description.  Because we live in a limited world.  There--no limits exist.  If we considered the most mind numbing experience of feeling God's presence and being enveloped in His love, then it still cannot compare to the perfection that is heaven.  

There, in that joy and peace and perfection, a plan was made.  By a perfect Father.  Who loves his children with an unfailing love.  And I imagine the moment when this plan was announced.  

I imagine the collective gasp of angels when the Father announced the plan.  A gasp that surely shook the foundations of the earth. 

"I am sending my Son to earth.  To be born as a tiny helpless baby.  To bring a new way.  To end the law.  To begin the grace.  To be the grace.  To die on a cross and pay the penalty.  Once and for all." 

Surely, the chorus of angels were sucking in air.  Jaws were dropping.  Unbelieving.  Confused.  Had they heard Him right?  The God of the Universe is true and just and pure and holy.  But, could He be wrong?  

They could not fathom.  Why anyone would leave the perfection they knew.  It was a place to dwell and linger, every moment of every day for eternity.  To relish in the joy that filled their souls.  Because no other place was even worthy of consideration.  Just sitting in the Father's presence.  

Certainly the Son wouldn't leave here.  Couldn't leave here.  The Son of God?  Leave?  The Heavenly Throne Room?  And EARTH?  The broken mess of God's creation, soiled by sin and man's human frailty?  Who could fathom?  

And not just leave.  But become one of THEM?  The imperfect shell of human beings?  Bound by time and human nature?  Limited in ways the angels could not conceive.  How could this be?  That the Son would trade his place at God's right hand and succumb to such humility?  

For the ultimate purpose of dying?  But worse than death.  Far worse.  The most horrible, awful and unimaginable thing that could happen.  To experience God turning his back and being forsaken.  To go from God's presence to willingly accept a fate of God's absence? If even for a moment.  Nothing could be more dreaded.  More detested.  More anguishing.  Than to experience the absence of God's presence.  

Moses knew this.  

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, 
and I will give you rest.”
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
Exodus 33:14-16

Moses.  A man with limits.  Purely human.  Knew that the fate worse than death was having God's presence leave him.  If God's presence isn't there, Moses doesn't want to go.  Because living in God's presence is the only thing imaginable.  Worthy.  Good.  Having God turn his back?  Moses couldn't do it.

But God's only Son did.  Willingly.  He left his rightful place, there in a paradise we cannot conceive.  He accepted the limits and pain of being made human.  Humbly.  Far from all He'd ever experienced.  A birth in a dirty, filthy borrowed manger to a young unmarried girl.  For the ultimate purpose of allowing himself to become our sin.  Our filth.  Our every mistake and failure.  The thing God rejects.  In order to allow us to be accepted.  Eternally.

Who could fathom?  The angels were surely stunned.  How could this be?  Yet, they knew the Father's love had no bounds.  And He sent His Son to earth, that fateful day, and proved his limitless love.  

Yes indeed.  The angels gasped.  And the earth shook as heaven came to walk its dirty soil.  And make a way.  For every one of us. 

Merry Christmas.  God with Us.  Immanuel.

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