Christmas doesn’t begin in a manger, it’s roots go to the beginning of time, to the depth of God’s persistently loving heart, to the depths of humanity’s great and expansive need.
As God’s ‘where are you?-searching-love’ echoes throughout time, through prophets, in covenants and promises. Humanity cries a similar cry. Abraham and Sarah cry ‘where are you God?’ as they hope for a child--when it looks like hope is gone and the promise trampled and forgotten. Jacob cries ‘where are you God?’ on a road by himself, away from his family, on the run from his older and angry brother. Leah cries ‘where are you God?’ when her husband Jacob looks at her with disgust. Joseph cries ‘where are you God?’ when his brothers nearly leave him for dead, then sell him into slavery. ‘Where are you God?’ Moses’ mother cries as she sends her oldest son away, hoping that Pharaoh won’t find him. ‘Where are you God?’ Israel cries out in slavery. ‘Where are you God?’ Israel cries out in the desert, as it wanders seeking a land of promise. In exile, away from their homes, Israel cries ‘where are you?’
‘Where are you God?’ is a question that echoes in hearts from Abraham to Nehemiah, in places from Egypt to Babylon. like a son that longs for his father’s provision, like a daughter that wants her mother’s arms creation cries out “Where are you God?”
God cries out: “Where are you?” with a deep longing love.
Humanity cries out: “Where are you?” with a great expansive need.