A few weeks ago, I decided I should get up in time to see the sunrise at least once while I’m here. So one morning, just before the first light, I stumbled out of bed, put a wrap skirt on over my pajamas, walked a little off campus to the airstrip, and waited. It was a rosy dusk when I arrived. And then, so gradually I almost missed it, the sun started to light up the clouds. First it just touched the edge of one cloud, then it spread, as if the clouds had been dipped in luminescent paint. Soon the whole sky glowed in anticipation of the sun breaking through the horizon. When the sun finally rose over the tree line, enormous and orange, I was filled with an inexplicable joy as well as an overwhelming sense of my own smallness.
Every minute of every day, somewhere in the world, the sun is bursting over the horizon. It’s marvelous, this constantly unfolding drama of a new day.
And yet most days we sleep through it. We get busy. Or if we happen to catch it, we take a quick picture for instagram and carry on with our lives.
We know there will always be another one tomorrow.
So often I’m guilty of doing the same thing with the Gospel. It’s beautiful. It’s so incomprehensible and cosmic that theologians will never unravel it, and yet so simple and human that children understand it.
But it’s so constant. It’s so much a part of my life that sometimes I don’t really think about it. And I let myself get too busy to give more than a passing glance to this Good News that right now, all the world over, is bursting into people’s lives and changing them forever. How can I ever forget to stop and simply wonder at such a great salvation?
But when I do, I can’t help but marvel at the thought of the God who stretched out the Universe setting aside his power and grandeur for a stable and a helpless human body. That this baby would grow to become a man who died on a cross, humiliated by his own creations. That he would rise again to show the world that He was who He claimed to be. And perhaps even more incredibly, that this God, who is perfect in justice, unerring in wisdom, and utterly holy in every way would be filled with a boundless and devoted love for an insignificant speck in the universe like me. An insignificant speck who has been drenched in sin and self-centeredness since birth. But that is what the Gospel is! The demonstration of love from the God of the universe for a race doomed to death by their own willful rebellion.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
My prayer for us is that we won’t ever get used to that. That we will never cease to be completely amazed and humbled by just how little we are and just how infinite God’s love for us is.
“[I pray] that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith
—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the
breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)