During this third week of Advent dedicated to rejoicing, I invite you to ponder the incredible extravagance of our great God. First of all is the fact that God chose to enter our world as a baby. He could have appeared as an emperor or at least a full-grown rabbi, but, no, God does the unthinkable and comes as a tiny human being, crying, burping, and speechless. Someone noted that babies become kings, but this is the only time a king became a baby. To celebrate this event, I offer Stephen Colbert’s happy dance in a video at the end of this post.
Now for some other extravagances. Think of the universe composed of zillions of stars and so vast that scientists have not been able to determine its end. A few suns and planets would have been sufficient. In our own Milky Way galaxy alone there are about 100 billion stars. But there are about 170 billion galaxies that we can discern with a telescope!
Then there is the amazing variety of flora and fauna on our planet home. There are about 270,000 different types of flowers enhancing our world. Biologists are challenged to catalog the species of beetles, butterflies, and birds. Estimated figures are 300,000 types of beetles, 18,000 types of birds, and 28,000 types of butterflies. Whew!
We too are created in abundance, covering the world and in several forms. For our reproduction, the average male produces about 525 billion sperm cells over his lifetime. Psalm 23 tells us that those who follow the good shepherd find their cup overflowing with superabundance.
Also, God feeds our soul with breathtaking beauty: luxurious sunrises and sunsets, exquisite winter trees glistening with ice, and awesome flower gardens.
Jesus, God in the flesh, also had the habit of going overboard. For his first miracle that took place at the wedding in Cana, he provided so much wine that everyone could take several jugs home. When he multiplied bread and fish to feed a hungry crowd (5,000 men and perhaps three times that many women and children), there were twelve baskets of leftovers. After Peter fished all night with no luck, Jesus directed him to try again and Peter and his crew took in so many fish that their nets were breaking. They had to call for help.
Jesus taught, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap.”
Consider too, did Jesus really have to undergo such a gruesome death in order to save the human race?
God also gives his grace lavishly. Perhaps you’ve experienced this.
What other evidence is there that God is infinite when it comes to generosity?
Stephen Colbert’s dance: