If you take a look at these numbers, and think about it, you can probably piece together this story. But, because I need something to write about (and because I have a point I want to make) I will go ahead and explain how they fit together to form one of my recent mornings.
8:06 – This number tells you the actual time of day (about 30 seconds after I first crawled out of bed).
6:55 — This number tells you the time my alarm went off and I was supposed to get out of bed.
72 and 8 – these numbers tell you the temperature both inside and out. They also hint at the epic mental battle that was taking place during the 71 minutes between my alarm’s first annoying ding and the moment my feet hit the floor.
On a normal day, the outside temperature matters very little to me. It only affects how long I have to warm up my garage-kept car and how quickly I run the 15 feet from my parking spot to the front door at the office. But this day was not a normal day. This was the one work day of the entire year I would spend entirely outside.
So there I lay, under my nice, cozy comforter, in my 72 degree room, thinking about how I was about to spend the next 14 hours outside in the church parking lot getting ready for a community outreach event hosted by our church. The point of this event– to be a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.
“There’s a big difference between 72 degrees and 8 degrees,” I thought.
That’s when it hit me.
“There’s a big difference between heaven and earth.”
And isn’t the true meaning of Christmas that God Himself spanned that distance? The story of Christmas is that Jesus left His throne and was born in a barn. Jesus stepped away from the adoring praise of the angels and walked into the angry contempt of those He came to save. We will never be able to comprehend the difference between the perfection of heaven and the pain of this earth. But Jesus comprehended it fully, and gladly bridged the gap for you and me.
Philippians 2:6-8 “Though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
The name, Emmanuel, means “God with us.” This is what we celebrate at Christmas.