When Distance Makes the Story Small

It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small.
— "Let it Go" from Frozen
photo by Alice Popkorn

photo by Alice Popkorn

That line from the ever-popular hit from Disney's most recent blockbuster has been stuck in my head for days. Usually I'm inspired by slightly more profound or sound sources...but sometimes it's Frozen. I'm going with it.

It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small.

It's funny how more than 2,000 years from that night in a stable makes it seem small.

It's funny how just reading the words of that story in small print on thin pages makes it seem small.

It's funny how every other month of the year but December makes Christmas seem small.

It's funny how we get sucked into the hustle and bustle and shopping and it all makes Jesus seem small.

And then, when we sit back and soak up this story, when we realize what this means, what Christmas really is, we realize something. Our King left His throne, left Heaven, to come down to our earth and be small. 

What a distance it is from heaven to earth, what a shift from Infinite to Infant.

He chose to go the distance. He chose to be small. What other religion has a narrative like that? What other kings stepped down from their thrones? What other lords left their place of power to descend into a place of humble vulnerability and true humanity? What other gods made the first move to be near to their people, in their flesh, in their lives, in their world?

This Advent season, I'm sinking into these truths. I'm welcoming this season gratefully. I'm stepping in to this story because nothing about it is small. This story is huge, life-changing, world-shaking, monumental. It may have been a silent night, a holy night, but it was not a small night. It was not an insignificant event or a meaningless moment.

I'm diving into those little words on thin pages, because this story isn't small. These truths aren't small. Just because I didn't live then doesn't mean these words don't change everything about my life today, thousands of years later, in an American suburb so far from where He walked. I'm reading these words every day, because I know I can't get enough of this story, of this radical way my Savior showed His love for me in such a counter-cultural way. I can't get enough of how this shatters the very essence of "religion" -- my God literally put on skin and bones to be close to me, to show me love, to make this relationship as real as it could be.

I'm choosing to avoid so much of the hustle and bustle, because this culture wants to keep Jesus small, and I don't. I don't want to get lost in the shopping and the fast deals and Santa that I forget Christmas isn't about that.

I don't want Christmas to pass and the year to continue and my heart to forget about that night and this story and what it all means. I don't just want to lean into the truth of this Advent season while its candles are burning. I want this to continue in my heart throughout the year, so this Christmas story doesn't stay contained in December, so the magic of it all doesn't stay small.

This story isn't small. Our King became small, and that makes this story, this season, our Savior huge.