So, here’s the “more reflective post about Christmas” that I alluded to a couple posts ago.
You may be thinking, Christmas?!?! That was forever ago! You’ve gotta wait another 300 or so days before you start talking about it again… Well, this just can’t wait that long.
It’s pretty crazy how the hype about Christmas crescendos the month or two before the big day. And then all of a sudden it’s Boxing Day (aka Dec. 26th) and it’s like a subito piano when it comes to the dynamics of the holiday hype. It’s not such a bad thing that the mad rush of shopping and gift giving is over, but I quickly forget the message of Christmas along with all the materialism. Maybe you do too?
In part through a great song by Casting Crowns titled God Is With Us, God was stressing to me this Christmas that it should be a reminder that God is near. And not just for one day, but every day of the year. But don’t take my word for it, let’s check out some passages in His Word:
In Matthew 1, an angel appears to Joseph letting him know that Mary is pregnant by the Holy Spirit. This fulfilled prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 where it says: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Immanuel means God with us.) Jesus’ birth was a celebration of God coming to dwell with man. We sense John’s excitement when he writes, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14)
This was great cause to celebrate for the people in those days, but Jesus no longer walks on this earth. So, is he still with us? Can we still sing songs giving God the name Emmanuel? The final words of the gospel of Matthew address this reassuringly. Just after Jesus commissions his disciples to go forth and make disciples, he finishes with these words: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 b) And how will he be with us?
When Jesus is having a heartfelt conversation with his disciples, he assures them that “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18) And later, Jesus explains that “Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you… But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:7b, 13a)
What a great truth to hold on to: God is with us! By now, maybe you have already forgotten the presents you gave and received this past Christmas, but may you never forget His presence! Emmanuel! 🙂