Summary: The good news of Christmas is that God loved us and became one of us.
Many of us have experienced the miracle of birth. We’ve gathered around the nursery window in the hospital, and pressed our noses against the glass as we view the latest addition to the family. We’ve marveled that the child has all the necessary arms and legs, and that it is so small.
As we gather around the Christmas manger today, our actions are similar. There is one significant difference, though. As we gather around the Christ child we marvel that this human being is God. God came to live among us.
FROM WORD TO PERSON
Several years ago, I actively wrote to an email pen pal in England. We had a wonderful time writing about our family and vocational activities to each other. In the late ‘90’s, Faye and I had an opportunity to travel to England and during our time there I met my pen pal. I knew a lot about him before we physically met, but it was so good to meet the real person and see what he was really like.
The Jews had their scriptures that had told them about God—what God was like and what God had done. They knew a lot about God. But, Jesus gave them the opportunity to meet God face to face. They were able to SEE what God was really like. God became more real to them and to the world.
Sometimes we keep God at a distance, today. We read about him in the Bible and hear about him in the worship service. We are missing something, however, if this is the totality of our experience with God. God longs to have a personal relationship with him where he becomes more real that written words on a page. God becomes our Lord, our Savior, and our friend.
Ryan, Sarah and Lucy have come to visit us for a week this Christmas Season. It has been a wonderful experience for us. Faye and I regularly Skype with them. We get to hear and see Lucy. But, we can’t build a relationship with Lucy through Skype as well as we can through simply being together.
Before Jesus’ birth, God seemed distant. We knew who God was, and understood what he was like. We’d recognize him if we met him on the street. The birth of Jesus, though, gave us the opportunity to clearly see God in action, and to build a relationship with God. We see Jesus healing the sick, reaching out to the marginalize, being concerned about the poor and needy, casting out demons and even raising the dead.
Jesus has come to dwell with us. As disciples of Jesus we develop our relationship with him as we walk with him. We experience him answering our prayers, providing our daily bread, protecting us from the evils of this world. Jesus becomes real to us.
TRUE FRIEND AND LOVING GOD
Jesus and his disciples walked through life together and during that time Jesus cared for them. He healed Peter’s mother in law. He stilled the storm when his disciples were in danger of sinking. He came to them in the upper room when they were afraid and hiding from the authorities.
There are times when life throws a curve at us. We are diagnosed with cancer or have a heart attack. At other times, we may lose our job, lose our house, or experience a fire or burglary. During difficult times such as these there are a few friends who stick by us and walk with us through the tragedy. We discover who are true friends are. We also discover that God walks with us through the trials and tribulations of life. He does not forsake us. During these situations we see what God is like in our lives.
Jesus came and dwelt among us, and our lives and the lives of everyone in the world are richer for it. God has come near, and we now walk with him.