browning was half right

This week, I used half of a famous quote in a status update to tell family and friends that we rejoiced over the safe return of our daughter after three and a half months. “All’s right with the world.” And that’s the way I felt, like the world had been put back to its rightful order.
The entire quote, as many know, is, “God’s in His heaven. All’s right with the world.” As you may not know, it’s a quote from Robert Browning’s Pippa Passes, a poem published in 1841. Which means, of course, that it has nothing whatsoever to do with Kate Middleton’s sister, just as an fyi. She is not that old.
But I got to thinking about the line. And what I got to thinking, at Christmastime, was that, it’s not true.

Not that I don’t believe in heaven (I do), nor that I don’t believe God has things under control (I most definitely do). But that more than anything, I believe that had he stayed in his heaven, nothing would be right at all. 
The unbelievable news of Christmas is that He didn’t. He could have—but he didn’t. He chose to leave. He chose to come here. He chose to make a way that all could be right with our world. He chose to sacrifice his own perfect world and turn it upside down so that ours could be made whole.
That’s not a God who sits up in his heaven and benignly moves a few pawns and knights to make sure all is right, or at least nothing is going totally to hell. It’s one willing to go there himself to make sure of it.
That’s a Christmas message I can’t truly comprehend but one I can get fully behind. It’s no cute baby in a manger. It’s no warm feeling about friends and firelight. It’s a revolution. Which is what we needed. So, all’s right with the world.

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