Advent: Thanks for ‘Making the Trip’

Post a Comment » Written on December 13th, 2005     
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By J. Paul Thompson

MT. PROSPECT, IL (December 13, 2005)  – Editor’s note: In preparation for  the Christmas observance, Covenant Communications is sharing devotionals  that originally appeared in local church newsletters. The following  comes from pastor J. Paul Thompson of Northwest Covenant Church.
Many people travel during December. While attending Wheaton College in  Illinois, I traveled back and forth to Toronto, Ontario, a couple times  during the school year. There was something special about traveling home  for Christmas. There was always such a buzz at O’Hare Airport with so  many people flying home for the holidays.
The greatest distance anyone has ever traveled at Christmas was Jesus.  Now I don’t want to get too theological over this point, discussing  things like, “Where is heaven?” But the “gulf” that was bridged on this  first Christmas was not just from Nazareth to Bethlehem (the distance  Mary and Joseph traveled), but rather between the finite and the  infinite. God, who created the entire universe, now entered into his  creation. We cannot measure this distance. Even if we were able to build  a bridge of infinite length, we would never be able to reach God. It is  not a matter of distance – it is a totally different realm.
A familiar Christmas hymn begins with these words: Thou didst leave  Thy throne and Thy kingly crown when Thou camest to earth for me, but in  Bethlehem’s home there was found no room for Thy holy nativity.
Another hymn that speaks of bridging this great divide ends with this  refrain: Out of the ivory palaces into a world of woe, only His  great, eternal love made my Savior go.
Whenever I would arrive home at Christmas, my parents would always say,  “Thanks so much for traveling so far to be with us.” And I would always  respond, “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.” This Christmas  don’t forget how great the love of God is that sent Jesus to earth so  many years ago. Don’t forget to thank Him for “making the trip.” It was  the greatest distance ever traveled. That’s how much God love you.
(Editor’s note: to read earlier Advent messages, please see:
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