An Advent Journey: When God Became Small — Day Twenty-Six


Romans 10:5-13, The Message

The earlier revelation was intended simply to get us ready for the Messiah, who then puts everything right for those who trust him to do it. Moses wrote that anyone who insists on using the law code to live right before God soon discovers it’s not so easy—every detail of life regulated by fine print! But trusting God to shape the right living in us is a different story—no precarious climb up to heaven to recruit the Messiah, no dangerous descent into hell to rescue the Messiah. So what exactly was Moses saying?

The word that saves is right here,
    as near as the tongue in your mouth,
    as close as the heart in your chest.

It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!”

Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.”

Oh, my goodness, I love what Eugene Peterson has done with this passage! “The word of faith” apparently sounds a whole lot like this:


And anyone who calls out ‘help,’ will be heard. And will be helped. Paul defines help as having everything set right between God and us. And that is precisely why that little baby came to that virgin, to that stable, to this world.

To set things right. To bring help. 

God became small so that we might find help. So that we could stop scrambling our feeble way up to heaven and learn to rest in the love of God. So that we could give up our incessant need to be our own savior, so that we could stop trying so hard to earn God’s pleasure.

God became small so that we might become whole.

Thank you, God, for the sheer insanity of your plan. Thank you for the strange wonder of it all, for the smallness you embraced, for the life you lived as one of us, for the love you gave us with every breath, right up until that last one. Thank you for the gift of life, real life, and for freedom from trying so dang hard all the time to ‘get it right.’ We don’t have to because you have done it!

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  1. “So that we could give up our incessant need to be our own savior, so that we could stop trying so hard to earn God’s pleasure.”
    Thank you, Diana, for reminding us that we don’t need to earn God’s pleasure – He has already loved us beyond measure, and that is enough. More than enough! And we are blessed . . .
    Love and blessings to you!