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Max Lucado: Gabriel’s Questions

Gabriel must have scratched his head at this one.

He wasn’t one to question his God-given missions. Sending fire and dividing seas were all in an eternity’s work for this angel. When God sent, Gabriel went.

And when word got out that God was to become man, Gabriel was enthused. He could envision the moment:

The Messiah in a blazing chariot.

The King descending on a fiery cloud.

An explosion of light from which the Messiah would emerge.

That’s what he expected. What he never expected, however, was what he got: a slip of paper with a Nazarene address. “God will become a baby,” it read. “Tell the mother to name the child Jesus. And tell her not to be afraid.”

Gabriel was never one to question, but this time he had to wonder.

God will become a baby? Gabriel had seen babies before. He had been platoon leader on the bulrush operation. He remembered what little Moses looked like.

That’s okay for humans, he thought to himself. But God?

The heavens can’t contain him; how could a body? Besides, have you seen what comes out of those babies? Hardly befitting for the Creator of the universe. Babies must be carried and fed, bounced and bathed. To imagine some mother burping God on her shoulder—why, that was beyond what even an angel could imagine.

And what of this name—what was it—Jesus? Such a common name. There’s a Jesus in every cul-de-sac. Come on, even the name Gabriel has more punch to it than Jesus. Call the baby Eminence or Majesty or Heaven-sent. Anything but Jesus.

So Gabriel scratched his head. What happened to the good ol’ days? The Sodom and Gomorrah stuff. Flooding the globe. Flaming swords. That’s the action he liked.

But Gabriel had his orders. Take the message to Mary. Must be a special girl, he assumed as he traveled. But Gabriel was in for another shock. One peek told him Mary was no queen. The mother-to-be of God was not regal. She was a Jewish peasant who’d barely outgrown her acne and had a crush on a guy named Joe.

And speaking of Joe—what does this fellow know? Might as well be a weaver in Spain or a cobbler in Greece. He’s a carpenter. Look at him over there, sawdust in his beard and a nail apron around his waist. You’re telling me God is going to have dinner every night with him? You’re telling me the source of wisdom is going to call this guy “Dad”? You’re telling me a common laborer is going to be charged with giving food to God?

What if he gets laid off?

What if he gets cranky?

What if he decides to run off with a pretty young girl from down the street? Then where will we be?

It was all Gabriel could do to keep from turning back. “This is a peculiar idea you have, God,” he must have muttered to himself.

Are God’s guardians given to such musings?

Are we?

This excerpt is from Max Lucado’s CHRISTMAS STORIES: HEARTWARMING TALES OF ANGELS, A MANGER, AND THE BIRTH OF HOPE, published by Thomas Nelson (2011). Reprinted by permission

Christmas Stories: Heartwarming Classics of Angels, a Manger, and the Birth of Hope
by: Max Lucado
publisher: Thomas Nelson, published: 2011-08-30
ASIN: 1401685439
EAN: 9781401685430
sales rank: 4152
price: $10.49 (new), $9.48 (used)

A Heartwarming Collection of Christmas Stories and Reflections from Max Lucado

These stories-like your favorite Christmas ornaments-come in all shapes and sizes. They unfold in a variety of settings, from ancient Bethlehem to rural England. From a small Texas town to the heavenly realms. Some are short. Others many chapters long. Some offer reflections. Others imagine Christmas through the eyes of a burnt-out candle maker, a lonely business man, or heavenly angels.

Yet all are vintage Lucado, and all resonate with the wonder of the season.

“In the mystery of Christmas,” Max writes, “we find its majesty. The mystery of how God became flesh, why he chose to come, and how much he must love his people. Such mysteries can never be solved, just as love can never be diagrammed. Christmas is best pondered, not with logic, but imagination.”

That’s what each of these unique Christmas stories help us do. In the midst of the bustle and hurry that often distracts us this time of year, these stories free us to explore the ways in which Christ’s coming has forever changed history-and us.

 


Max Lucado is not a man consumed by sales, awards, and achievements. He often turns down media interviews since they impede on family and ministry commitments. He spends the bulk of his week serving as senior minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. And he is truly surprised by his own success–more impressed by his one-in-a-million wife and three amazing daughters than by his successful writing career.

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