God With US
I love all things Christmas-y. The lights, the music, the cookies…it’s all pure joy for me. But there is more to it than hot cocoa and scented candles. There’s something…transcendent. All the things Christmas-y feel like doorways to me. Doorways to heaven. To worship. What really quickens my pulse and lifts my feet off the ground is the theme of the season – God with us. Emmanuel. Heaven come down.
A pastor once told me that he dreads Christmas because he has to come up with new, creative ways to tell the same story he told last year. I was flabbergasted. But this is the best story! It’s like listening to your favorite song over and over again. God with us…God with us…Over and over again I want to hear it. I need to hear it.
Of course, this is just the beginning of the story. It culminates with the good news of Easter and the blood shed on our behalf. I get it. Easter doesn’t get near the celebration that it should. But the Christmas season reminds me every day that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). The Word became flesh. God, in human form. Fully God, yet fully man. God. With. Us.
Every Christmas, God answers the question that I never realized my heart was asking: Do you get it? Do you understand what this life feels like? The ache, the uncertainty, the hurt, the overwhelm…do you understand how hard this is?
And He answers with every Christmas carol, yes. On a silent and holy night, I came down. I put on flesh. I was tired…I was hungry…I was misunderstood and betrayed…yes, my child, I get it.
And somehow, knowing that He knows makes all the difference.
He might not fix any of the hard things in my life - or your life - right now. There is a good chance that we will both wake up tomorrow morning with all the same stressors and disappointments (and maybe some new ones). But we are not alone. And better yet, our Savior gets it.
He understands the sadness, the fear, the dread. He had days like that. He can listen to our hurts like only a friend who has been in that same situation.
There are so many wonderful things about Christmas. The lights, the music, the cookies…but don’t let this Christmas season pass by without stopping to wonder at the miracle of a Savior who understands your life and your hurts and loves you through every inch of it.
God with us, Emmanuel.
P.S. Here is one of my favorite songs that reminds me of this truth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XC1MRiNU_g&list=RD5XC1MRiNU_g&start_radio=1