When Christmas feels too busy… or too routine… or too hard…

Somehow it’s got round to December again.December with the sparkly lights and the glowing colours and the busy days and the old, familiar ways… The traditions we have experienced again and again and again.

What does Christmas mean to you?

christmas-candle

Maybe it’s become routine: something you do every year. Maybe it’s a pretty hectic, stressful time. I know it can be for me! There’s so much extra going on: so much to do!

And yet… when I stop to think about what it all means, it suddenly takes on far deeper significance.

I want to encourage you to do that this year: to think about what it means.

Remember what they called the Baby Jesus? Emmanuel. God with us.

God with us.

In a baby.

God, the Creator, the One Who spoke the stars into being, came close to us.

Have you ever meditated on the incarnation? When you stop to think about it, it blows your mind! What kind of wonderful God must our God be, to be willing to come as a tiny baby in a sinful world?!!! Just think about it: God became a foetus!! Meditate on it: look up at the stars- at the millions and billions of lightyears and galaxies out there… and then think how our Creator humbled Himself so lovingly, stepping down to be born as a baby! What awesome glory… and what tender intimacy and proximity to the creation He so lovingly made!

Think about it! Think about life as a human being in our fallen world: babies crying and dribbling… so helpless and needy… learning to eat, learning to walk, struggling with the first ‘dada’ and ‘mamma’… and look up at the stars and marvel at God doing that!

The One Who spoke and this universe came into being… The One Who holds each star in place… The One Who is Creator and Judge of all… Became a tiny, vulnerable embryo in the womb of an unmarried peasant girl. He was born as a tiny baby who had to learn how to walk and talk just like any of us. He Who was bigger than the universe became so very, very small.

He was fully human. And still fully God.

God the Son come down to be the Saviour.

He knows what it is like to live and hurt and suffer in this world.

I don’t know what Christmas means to you. Maybe you are feeling blessed, in a happy time. Maybe you are carrying sorrows so deep that you feel you cannot breathe. Maybe this season is crazily busy. Maybe it’s heartbreakingly hard. Either way, the message of Christmas is far deeper than tinsel and trees and presents we don’t really need.

The message of Christmas is God. With. Us.

‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”’ Matt 1:23

God Who cares so much that He came as a tiny baby to share in our suffering and then die to give us an eternal way out of it.

God Who humbled Himself to the mess of humanity… To the point of death so that we can be forgiven and whole and free.

‘Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.’ Philippians 1:6-8

We can never say God does not care when we look at the manger… At God sleeping close in the dirty straw. We can never say God is far away… Because He came so very close.

I have lived through hard Christmas years, carrying sadness deep inside. And Christmas meant more during those times… Christmas thinking about God who cares… God Who came close. Emmanuel, Who didn’t stay far away but is God with us in it all.

God with us in it all.

Why not use this December as a time to think deeply about what it all means: to draw close to God? To spend time in His presence? To meditate on His Word? To ask Him what it means?

The Christmas story means hope in the middle of the deepest darkness, because He is with us now and He has made a way for us to be with Him forever.

It means God reaching out to you right now, no matter what you are going through.

God Who cares that much.

God Who is with us… With you.

Below are the words of a song I tried to write about the incarnation. It’s not finished, but I thought I’d share them, as a way of trying to process the Christmas message.

With Us

Closer than breathing,

Our God came near;

Stooping in mercy

To find us here.

He came looking for us.

In the lowly manger,

He was waiting for us

Oh, see such love!

 

The Father’s heart was searching.

Christ came to bring us close.

In love so deep, such bleeding cost,

He came in search of us.

Emmanuel- God with us!

Cos He wants to be with us.

 

Bowing the heavens,

He came so young.

Such a tiny baby,

So vulnerable.

He came rescuing us

At greatest cost.

Hurting for us.

Oh, see such love!

 

And now He waits

To give His love;

That gave His all

To bring us close.

And now I see

The cross, the cost,

I know His love

God has come.

 

The Father’s heart was searching.

Christ came to bring us close.

In love so deep, such bleeding cost,

He came in search of us.

Emmanuel- God with us!

Cos He wants to be with us.

He does. He wants to be with us. In Jesus, He is with us. He is no longer on this earth but He sent His Spirit to be with us now, until He comes for us, so that we can be with Him forever. If you are trusting in Christ as Saviour, that is your present reality… and your hope. If you don’t know Him as Saviour yet, He is reaching out to you… waiting to bring you close… when you turn from your sin and believe in Christ as your Saviour, letting Him reign in your life as your Lord.

It’s worth thinking about. It’s worth dwelling on… because it’s so wonderful.

It’s worth taking a few moments to think about it this Christmas… because, no matter what your circumstances, it’s true.

He wants to be with us.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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