Sunday, December 14, 2008

On omnipresence and incarnation...

Christopher, our 5 year old, has asked me on a few different occasions if God is bigger than Jupiter.  I've told him that God is bigger than the entire universe.  Not able to get his mind around that, he asked, "How can God be bigger than outer space?"  I said, "Well, remember God is everywhere."  "But how can God be everywhere?"  I said, "Well, God is a spirit and is bigger than everything He created and...well, that's just a really hard thing for little people like us to understand, isn't it?"

The other day while the kids and I were driving down the road in the minivan, Christopher asked me, "Mommy, if God is everywhere, does that mean that we are driving over God?" Chuckling at first but then wanting to give him a serious answer, I confidently replied, "No Christopher, remember that God is a spirit and doesn't have a body like men."  I was hopeful this would satisfy him since the answer recalled one of the catechism questions he has memorized. But no.  He then said, "So does that mean we are driving on God's non-body?"

Today as we were driving home from church, our 4-year old, Sarah asked, "Mommy, is Jesus in the van?"  Happy that I could again refer back to already-memorized catechisms I replied, "Yes Sarah!  Remember, God is everywhere and Jesus is God."  Unsatisfied, Sarah demanded, "No, I said is Jesus right here next to me in this van!"

Then after we arrived home, Hannah and Sarah were sitting together on the sofa reading a book and I noticed that Hannah had something in her mouth.  I immediately asked her to spit it out and saw that it was the baby Jesus from their Playmobile nativity set.  I found myself laughing while saying, "No, Hannah - don't put baby Jesus in your mouth!"

On the one hand, it is true that God is a spirit and does not have a body like men.  This is an incredibly abstract concept for us to grasp, let alone to explain to our children.  On the other hand, John 1:14 is also true - "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us."  This infinite God who created the universe and everything in it, entered our world by taking on human flesh.  This is Christmas - God became a man.  I find that my children better understand and grasp who God is when they hear about Jesus.  In Jesus, "all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell."  (Colossians 1:19)

1 comment:

meredith said...

When I was teaching second grade Sunday school, one of my kids came out with an absolutely profound explanation. We were doing a lesson on 'The Pre-existence of Christ' (hey, the curriculum was written by the Boices!) and we established that GodChrist existed forever and was forever before time. I challenged them to think about what they would say to a hypothetical school classmate who disagreed with that - 'if Christmas is about Jesus being born, then he has a beginning, so how can he exist from forever?'

One of my quietest boys got this 'duh' look on his face and patiently explained to me that 'Jesus was *always* God, he just wasn't always *man*'.

So there you have it. Most profound thing I ever heard during my seminary years. :)