Christmas is hands down my favorite time of the year! I love everything about it including the family time, lights, apple cider, movie specials, seeing my kids smile, unhealthy food, and of course that Hershey’s Kisses commercial they have been airing for over twenty years. We have enjoyed these Christmas traditions for many years and the memories will always be dear to our hearts.
Also as believers we are reminded that Christmas is ultimately a time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Even the giving of gifts should be a reminder of the greatest gift of all and that is the gift of God’s one and only Son. It’s so easy to allow the busyness of the season to distract us so this Christmas I have been trying to intentionally keep my focus on Jesus and here are some verses that I keep going back to.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” Matthew 1:22-23
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.” John 1:14
What exactly does it mean to say “God is with us”? What was the significance of that phrase then and now? I truly believe that when we fully grasp this concept, it will be a game changer for our spiritual walk.
God Pursues Us
God didn’t wait for us to get our act together, but came after us and pursued us. He didn’t wait until we were moral enough, mature enough, wise enough, or until we had everything figured out. He initiated a relationship with us and didn’t give up on us despite the fact that we are prone to wander. Jesus left the glory of heaven as the ultimate missionary to come to this earth and walk in the mud and serve those He created. He traded His throne for an old rugged cross and died in our place. He did all of this while we were still in our sin (Romans 5:8). He pursued us.
God Wants Us
The cool thing about God is that He is self-sustaining. He doesn’t need anything from us to be God. To put it simply God does not need us, however, God does want us. God was never obligated to do anything for us, but He still desired to because He wanted a personal relationship with us. God is a personal God who wants to have a relationship with His people. He doesn’t even need our worship but He does desire our worship. I don’t know what all you are currently going through this Christmas but please know that you are loved and wanted by your heavenly daddy.
God Understands Us
God is not some distant God who cannot relate with His creation. He understands every temptation, pain, trial, and emotion that we face.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
God has been there and He understands. Maybe you can’t even enjoy this Christmas because of the constant reminder of the loved one who isn’t here anymore. God understands your pain. Maybe you feel defeated by that particular sin that you continue to be tempted by. Not only does God understand your temptation but He wants you to have victory over that sin in Him. Jesus conquered sin and death and in Christ we don’t have to continue in bondage anymore but can live in freedom.
Christmas is a beautiful picture of God’s desire to be with us as He came to earth as a baby. His mission was the cross as He would die in our place and nothing would stand in His way. No longer would we need the high priest to be our mediator but Jesus Himself would be our high priest as we now have access to the throne of God through Him. The veil is torn, sin is crushed, death is defeated, grace abounds, and God is with us.