‘I’ve put God in a box and I know he doesn’t belong there.’ I’m sure you can relate to one of those moments. We’ve all had them.
On Sunday, my wife met a friend at a church in North Bend. She had been going for a few weeks by herself and was excited for a friend to sit by her. During the first song of worship she began to cry heavily and could barely articulate what she was feeling. With teary eyes she barely mustered to my wife the words, “I’ve put God in a box and I know he doesn’t belong there.”
I’m sure you can relate to one of those moments. We’ve all had them(1). See, our spirituality is both intellectual and emotional. We are not just charts, graphs, logic, and percentages. As human beings, we are built with much more. We are emotional, soulful, inspirational, and creative. Philip Yancey would say the moment we try to analyze and dissect grace, is the moment it dies like a butterfly pinned by needles.
Erwin McManus calls this when “our soul runs ahead of our minds.” It helps define those moments in our lives where we can’t describe what’s happening but we cannot deny what we’re feeling. I think those moments occur more frequently around Christmas. For whatever reason, our world is much more spiritually sensitive during this advent season. Something inside of us awakens. As Chesterton put it, “The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has no one to thank.” Our spiritual senses are more alert and we take notice of God around us.
My point is simple. Be okay with the mystery this Christmas season. Let your mind run wildly with your soul. Just see where it takes you. Time for analysis, theology, and categorizing will come later. This Christmas season, let your soul take the lead.
Worship only truly happens when we don’t completely understand what’s happening. I say, let the wonderful, gracious, extravagant mystery of a God that dared to become human overwhelm us this Christmas.
And let our souls stand in awe.
1. If you haven’t, I double dog dare you to ask God to show himself. I prayed that prayer many years ago and look what happened.SKM: below-content placeholder