God's Problem

From Aspen, turn east and go about an hour. Then, turn north...

From Aspen, turn east and go about an hour. Then, turn north...

If you were God, how would you solve your problem? After years of being unapproachable, you desire to convey a different message. Yet your omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence are intimidating. Your absolute justice, commitment to truth, perfection, and holiness is scary and beyond even rudimentary comprehension. And the fact that you are sovereign doesn’t help matters.

There are myriad voices regularly singing your praises, reinforcing your preeminence, squinting in your blinding light, and honoring your divinity. Your foes are vanquished, your wrath is legendary, and your power and strength are unparalleled.

Granted, you are the embodiment of love, mercy, compassion, longsuffering, kindness, and more good character qualities than comprehension can inventory. Not that these assist you in becoming approachable. Your love for us is undeserved. Your mercy beyond understanding. Your compassion escapes reason. Your kindness is levied outside the realm of logic and your character is impeccable.

These distinguished characteristics serve you well, but they only exacerbate the distance between you and us. Approachability is not your strong suit.

On a small scale—one that we can conceptualize—for you to become approachable would be like asking us to be unfazed approaching a room occupied by the President, the Pope, Oprah, Bill Gates, and Angelina Jolie. And this example is a miniscule effort to capture the magnitude of the problem. While ridiculously powerful, these are mere mortals. You are God.

For all you are, for all you have done, for all you possess, you simply are not approachable. Your interpreters—the prophets and priests of the Old Testament—did their best to portray you in the best possible fashion. And even though they approached you, and most lived to write and tell about it, you remain dauntingly distant. For someone wanting to be approachable, you have a major problem to resolve.

As God considered His dilemma shuffling through the halls of heaven, I cannot help but wonder if He mused to Himself, What is the most irresistible, disarming, approachable being known to mankind and throughout the universe?

The answer is simple, and you don’t even have to be omniscient to recognize the correct answer. A baby! A baby of anything, but especially a baby human. Red, yellow, black, or white—yours or someone else’s—a baby is approachable. And more! We will make fools of ourselves before a crowd cooing at a baby.

And after careful consideration, without sacrificing anything pertinent to His deity, God became a baby; a poor boy-child cared for by a disgraced, young girl; tended to by sheep, cattle, chickens, and a donkey. His first visitors were ruffians and rejects. His swaddle was rags, His bassinet a trough; His nursery was a barn and His birthplace an inconsequential, backward little town.

But how He showed up was not nearly as important as the message He delivered. Carried on the wings of angels and marked with a luminary in the sky never before witnessed by the wisest astronomers, the clarion message was delivered: God is approachable; all are welcome.

In truly God-fashion, God designed a solution to His problem that defied innovation’s reaches. With His ingenuity, He spread His approachability across the entire spectrum from holy to profane. His advent was complete and the commemoration of the solution He devised in order to become approachable was simply called Christmas.

Today, God remains approachable. He reminds us regularly of this fact and emphasizes it yearly in the celebration of His Advent. His invitation is unchanged since it was first issued: Everyone is welcome. I will live in you and you may find life in me. I will exchange your old life for my new life. Just come.

God is approachable. He lives in you to express Himself through you; he encompasses you in Himself and endows you with the security of all that He is in order for you to be all He envisioned for you. And what is that vision? For you to live a life that makes Him approachable to all that observe you living as He intended.