Dec 02, 2022 God is with Us, Christmas Day and Everyday – Words of Grace – December 2, 2022
There was a time when Christmas Day was not. Still, the promise of the presence of God was real and relevant to his people.
As much as we love Christmas time, we must admit that as a “holiday” it has shaped our reading of the Bible, and therefore our discipleship. The evidence of this is that passages from the Bible about the birth of Jesus almost seem out of place outside of December. While the church year can be helpful to our discipleship, following it too strictly means we relegate passages to certain seasons and days, and forget they are for every day.
The account of the birth of Jesus in the first chapter of Matthew is one such passage. Mary conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her betrothed, was fearful to take her as his wife. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him of the virginal conception, that the child will be a son, and his name will be Jesus. His birth fulfilled the prophecy of Immanuel, God with us.
And so, Jesus was born. Jesus did not bear the name “Immanuel” as a sign that God is with us. Jesus is Immanuel. He is God. He is with us. This matters most, more than anything else in the world and in our lives. This matters for eternity.
Because Jesus is Immanuel, our sins have been dealt with at the cross, our salvation has been secured by his death, and our new life is a reality through his resurrection. He ascended to heaven but remains with us by his Spirit. He is working in us and among us for his glory and our good. He is conforming us to his image and carrying our burdens. He remains and will return. The reason the new heaven and new earth will be glorious is because Jesus will be there.
What a great Christmas message! But is it only for Christmas?
“Immanuel, God is with us,” is more than a holiday theme. This is the only reality that brings us hope every day of our lives on this earth. Like the saints of the Old Testament who were assured of God’s presence as they walked with him, and those in the New Testament who followed Jesus with his words ringing in their ears, “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” we need his promise today.
My hope and prayer are that the Christmas messages at Grace Community Church with be for our faith and hope throughout the year. May the birth account bring new life to our weary souls as we walk our pilgrim way.
God is with us, Christmas day, and every day.