Posted in 2021 Advent devotions

A tiny road

“The Road to Bethlehem” Advent devotion for December 22, 2021. Photo by Thomas Grillmair on Unsplash

Each year I bring several totes full of nativities down from the attic. We display these miniature models of the Christmas story all over our home every December, tiny people on the road to a tiny Bethlehem.

We love our nativities. They come from different cultures, are made from different media and are all uniquely designed. Some are toys for the grandkids to play with and reenact the birth of Jesus. Christmas villages and model railroads are part of the season as well, but it wouldn’t seem like Christmas without a little holy family, shepherds and sheep, angels and wise men on display in our house.

Is this how God sees our world? Lots of tiny people riding on tiny trains and living in tiny homes with tiny pets? Tiny shepherds come to a tiny manger to see a tiny baby who has just been born. Tiny camels and tiny wise men arrive with tiny gifts for the tiny king.

But that tiny baby is God, who is now a part of this tiny world. He’s surrounded by grown ups who tend big sheep and bring big gifts. He’s the little one in a big, big world.

How do you view God? Is he big and powerful, or tiny and helpless? On the one hand, as Solomon said, you can’t built a big enough temple or church to contain him. Yet, he fits inside a mother and a manger. He’s small enough to have over for supper. And he’s big enough be in the highest, lowest and farthest places we could ever go. All that makes God just the right size. Big enough to handle our problems with ease. Small enough for us to eat and drink and receive his gifts of grace. Big enough that we can find refuge in the shadow of his wings. Small enough that we can fit in our hearts.

Very few things are the right size. Too much food at the restaurant. Not enough memory in your phone for all your pictures. Pants too short for a rapidly growing child. Suitcase too big for an overhead bin. One size might fit all, but not your head.

But as Paul reminds us, God’s grace is sufficient, that is, just the right size for us.

Thank Lord, for fitting into my world and for making a place for me in yours. Amen.

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