Confused? Stay with me. This will be soul yoga, a stretching of your mind.
A kindergartener once asked me, "Who made God?" Her simple question betrays our limitations: On this earth, we only know created things. We assume everything that exists must have a creator. But simple logic also dictates that there must be one being who begins the chain of creation. There must be one being who creates, who was not created.
We call that non-created being "God." He is a different order of being. He is not like us. He was never created, because he is the creator. His existence, his knowledge, his power, is different than ours, because we are created, and he is not.
Are you with me so far?
Time exists because of gravity. We measure years by our rotation around the sun. We measure days by the spinning of earth on its axis. All are results of gravitational forces (I'd explain further, but there is a lot of math involved). If you believe God created the universe, it means God created time. Because God created time, he governs time; it does not govern him. Because God is a different order of being, he can exist simultaneously in the past, present and future. The verse in Revelation that declares God is "the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end," tells us God is able to move through time, unlike human beings, who are bound by time. He is not a time traveler, but he is present in all times.
What's all this have to do with Christmas? Hang on, I'm coming to that.
As a result of God being present in all time, he is aware of what is happening in our past, present and future. The theological word for this is God's foreknowledge. God knows what is going to happen because he is already present as it happens. God is simultaneously present at the building of the pyramids, the battle of Gettysburg and the election of the president of the United States in 2032.
This, by the way, is why you should really do what God says. He knows outcomes you don't.
Before God created the world, he knew what would happen. He knew what he made would be good. He knew Adam and Eve would defy him. He knew their descendants would keep making the same poor choices. He knew the best way to fix what he didn't break would be for his son, Jesus Christ, to enter the world, become flesh, die on a cross and be resurrected. He knew a movement, a church, would be the best imperfect vessel to spread the message of redemption. And he knew that one day, you would have to make a decision: to receive his gift of redemption so your own broken life could be repaired, or to fix your life on your own.
Does this sound like a lot of trouble?
This is what amazes me: Knowing what it would cost him, knowing how much trouble it would be, knowing that dealing with human beings would be the most frustrating thing in his existence, God went ahead. He created the universe. He created us. Then, when we broke his creation, he sent Jesus to save us, to bring it all back to its original design. Now, he offers you a gift, a Savior, so you can be restored to his original design.
Before the first matter was ever created by God's will, he knew there would have to be a Christmas. And he went ahead anyway.
Thanks be to God.
Clay Smith is the lead pastor of Alice Drive Baptist Church in Sumter.
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