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The story is told of a family living in the northern United States. As happens in many families, the wife was an active church member. She would take the children to church services. Her husband didn’t feel it necessary or important to go. It just wasn’t his thing.

One Christmas eve, his wife asked if he was going to go to the Christmas eve service? "No," he said, you go ahead with the kids. I’ll stay here and get ready for Christmas morning." So, as happens in many families, the wife took the children and went to church while dad stayed home. He just didn’t feel the need of these religious observances.

I don’t know which of the positions of God we have examined dad might have held in his mind. Probably he felt God was so transcendent that God really didn’t care what we do, or else that God wasn’t involved in the world at all.

That Christmas eve, a winter storm struck, with biting sleet and strong winds. The landscape was soon covered with ice. As he was sitting there trying to decide whether to go to the church and pick up his family, he heard noises on the window pane. Hurrying to the window, he saw it was birds making that strange noise. To escape from the ice and sleet, the birds were trying to get inside the house.

Our friend got the idea that if he would open the garage door, the birds could go into the garage and be protected from the ice. Carefully he went into the garage, opened the wide door, and waited for the birds to fly inside. Not a single bird responded.

His next thought as he looked in the yard and saw the birds hovering in the ice and snow, was that he would go out and herd or drive them into the protection of the garage. Going outside, he carefully tried to urge the birds into the building. It was the most futile of tasks. As he approached the birds to try to get them into the garage, they beat their wings and scurried away from him. They were terror-stricken!

Finally, in absolute frustration, he stood out in the howling wind and sleet and cried, "If only somehow I for a moment could become a bird and tell these animals there is safety in the garage."

At that moment he began to understand the purpose of God, Jesus, and the Christmas birth. For the first time, God began to make sense to him. The purpose of God was related to his wish there in the wind and the snow. God, who loved and created us looked down from heaven and said, "If only, my sons and daughters, I could somehow let you know there is safety in me...."

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