“Nearer That We Realize”

Our Advent Devotion for Sunday, December 19, comes to us from The Fullness of Time by Henri J.M. Nouwen

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.

Galatians 4:4-5 NIV

“We have to dare to say, “I trust you; I entrust myself, with all my being, body, mind

and soul to you. I don’t want to keep any secrets from you. You can see everything

I do and hear everything I say. I don’t want to be a stranger any longer. I want you

to become my most intimate friend.”

With Burning Hearts, page 58, by Henri J.M. Nouwen

“Nearer That We Realize”

When we say that God draws near to us, we mean that God draws very near. “God sent his Son, born of a woman.” Born of a woman – from a human womb, laid into human arms, crying with human lungs and tears. It just doesn’t get any closer than inside a womb. It doesn’t get any closer than in a mother’s arms. God has drawn near!

And why has God drawn near? So that we might be God’s children. So that we, too, may be as close to God as a baby is to its mother – enshrined in her womb, wrapped in her arms, crying to her with real, hot, human tears. This closeness is offered to us – will we accept it? Will we entrust ourselves, body and soul, to this God who has drawn near?


Friends –

There are so many ways to understand God’s presence in our lives. During Advent, one of those ways comes through this understanding of Christ being born to human woman. Through this understanding, we can feel ourselves held in God’s arms, like a baby being held in a warm, soft blanket by our mothers. Can you feel yourself being embraced in that way and knowing the peace and security that comes with such a comforting presence?


Lord Jesus, in you God has drawn near to me and to our world. I entrust myself to you completely. Change my heart with your nearness. Amen.

Henri J.M. Nouwen