I saw a nativity on Facebook this afternoon. It was performed by some kids at a church in New Zealand. I liked it because of the way God was portrayed – compassionately looking at all the wrongdoing on earth; being sad that He was so far away from His kids; making a plan to step in; letting the angels sing because His heart was touched by their love for Jesus. It was incredibly sweet, but as I thought about it afterwards, I realised it was missing something.
And all these chronological Bibles that put the events in date-order for us, what do they start with? Genesis. I’ve never seen a Bible that starts with Ephesians chapter 1, but in his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul tells us something happened before Genesis. In Jesus, God chose us before the world was made. He had already decided to make us His children through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:4-5). That means in the run-up to the birth of Jesus, God wasn’t looking at the state of the world thinking: “’Oops. Not quite what I had in mind.”
The truth is that before we were even created, God knew about the first-ever disobedience and the tendency we’d have from then on towards wrongdoing, and He’d already planned that His Son Jesus would step in as our way back to Him.
The timeless God, knowing what would happen in time before time began. The God who loves us and looks for the best in us, knowing our worst and making provision for it. Doesn’t that fill you with awe and wonder?