Jim Loomis

Experiences, Observations, Opinions


This weekend Christians around the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus, which they hold to be the ultimate manifestation of God.

I imagine that at the moment of his birth, Jesus’s mother Mary must have felt what I experienced in the delivery room when my children were born — a profound, indescribable change in my very being.

A newborn child breaking into my life, fragile, helpless, totally dependent,
yet powerful beyond imagination,
powerful enough to change my life, my dreams, my purpose….forever!

A glimpse at the mystery of the divine.

And yet…

“It is not over,
this birthing.
There are always newer skies
into which God can throw stars.

When we begin to think
that we can predict the Advent of God,
that we can box the Christ
in a stable in Bethlehem,

that’s just the time
that God will be born
in a place we can’t imagine
and won’t believe.

Those who wait for God
watch with their hearts and not their eyes,
listening, always listening
for angel words.” (1)

The words of this poem don’t exactly square with the doctrinal view of the birth of Jesus being the preeminent coming of God.  So then, what are we to make of Christmas Eve?

This Christmas let’s not do what so many of us do, what so many religions do, each in their own way.  Let’s not put God in a box and leave no room for the mystery of the divine.  Let’s not deceive ourselves, believing that this is the final “birth” of God.  The creator, sustainer, and redeemer of all that we know, and that which we can never know, is certainly much larger than a baby born some 2000 years ago in a barn in a backwater town, sleeping in a box meant to feed cattle.  Let’s watch and listen with our hearts, not only with our eyes and our Scriptures.

You see, Divinity, however little of it that we can comprehend, is powerful beyond our wildest imagination!

(1) This poem, written by Ann Weems and copied from a booklet of Advent devotionals compiled in 2103 by Portage (MI) Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, is from “Alive Now,” a publication of The Upper Room®, Inc., P.O. Box 340004, Nashville, TN 37203-0004, and is used with permission.

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One thought on “GOD IN A BOX

  1. Ilah Henderson on said:

    Jim, thank you for the wise and sweet reminder to watch and listen for God’s messages. Our lives are often consumed by the mundane leaving the very most important hidden in the urgency of the moment. Focusing on the correct things brings an element of the peace He promised. Pain and tragedies of the past drown the promise of the future if one allows it. I often need to be reminded.


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