My husband and I have been married for 35 years. It will be 36 next summer. We know each other really well at this point. I was telling someone the other day I can tell what kind of mood Mike is in just by the way he takes dishes out of the dishwasher or walks through the house. And yet my husband continues to surprise me with stories he tells or with new depths to his character.
Dietrick Bonhoeffer writes about the mystery of knowing another person well. He writes, “The greatest mystery to us in not the most distant person, but the one next to us. The mystery of other people is not reduced by getting to know more and more about them. Rather, in their closeness they become more and more mysterious. And the final depth of all mystery is when two people come so close to each other that they love each other.”
I think this sense of growing mystery is especially true as we come to know God. I’ve had a deep relationship with God as I know him in Jesus Christ for 47 years now. That’s a long time to know someone. I believe I know quite a bit, and yet there is so much mystery in this relationship. There is so much unknown and learning to do. I continue to be intrigued and to learn to love God more.
Advent is a wonderful time to lean into the mystery of God coming among us. God comes to us and wants to be near to us. God creeps into our world out of love. This is a season to come close, to gaze at the babe in the manger and to ponder the depths of God’s love for us in this baby.
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