This was penned last night as the quiet of Christmas Day surrounded me.
I got to share with my Mama yesterday how a study on the gospel of Mark (a biography of Jesus) changed my life. And, in a way, saved it.
I shared how wonderful it was to finally look at the Word like a school text. Changing the way I saw it, being able to ask my questions and answering a lot of them. Having a spiritual mentor say that my questions mattered. That it was important for me to see Jesus in a new way.
I learned that an open heart is important in knowing Jesus, but so is the mind; an understanding of who He is to the best of my ability.
I learned, along with 25 of great friends, how intentional Jesus was. How there was intention to every single thing he did. Every word he spoke, every bodily placement, his life is one of service, purpose. Intentionality.
And as Christmas Day ends, I am overwhelmed at how even the circumstances of Jesus' birth were intentional. Let no situation be wasted to declare God's glory, it seems.
Jesus was born to a virgin, immaculate conception. It is highly likely that her entire town eventually got wind of this and judged her as a harlot; deeming Joseph as a fool for not charging her with adultery.
Jesus' birth was foretold hundreds of years before his actual birth. An incredible feat in itself. Details like where he was born, under what conditions and the supernatural things that would be seen described and confirmed with Jesus' birth.
Jesus was born in a manger, and was dressed in swaddling cloths. He was brought into the world surrounded by barn animals, hay probably sticking to his small frame, the smells less than pleasant.
That's been my question today. Why, Jesus?
His quiet response has been, My love is as deep as my intentionality.
A friend shared with me that Jesus spoke to her that he loves her so much, that he created a new friend to be exactly what she needs. She's been blown away by the intentionality for Jesus to create someone for her.
Similarly, I revel in how intentional God was to have Jesus come down as a man. Yes, I'm amazed that Jesus came down from perfect glory... but the intention of such an act astounds me. It brings me joy to think that I have such an intimate, deep and real relationship with God because Jesus came down. Because the gap between humanity and God was bridged forever through Jesus who was born that night in Bethlehem.
In a way, my Father was born that day. Yes, God is outside of time and space and cannot have a birth-date, but if it weren't for Jesus, I wouldn't know God the way I do.
So I don't just say "Happy Birthday, Jesus" but as I celebrate, I say,
Happy Birthday, Papa.