There are many great things about Christmas but none moreso than the celebration of Advent. Advent simply means “the arrival of a notable person, thing or event” and for followers of Christ, nothing is more remarkable or notable than the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ as a baby in a manger so long ago.
Jesus’s coming was a gift given to all of humanity and was the culmination of God the Father’s plan to redeem mankind unto Himself. As part of this redemptive process, no more would God be far off, hidden behind a veil in the temple in the Holiest of Holy’s but would truly make himself available to all who would come as a personal savior. God came not only to all of humanity but to each of us individually as Emmanuel, God with us.
I admit, as one who has been saved by grace for many years now, “God with us” is still a great wonder to me. Why the perfect, almighty creator of the universe and the one who is the giver of all life would choose to want to know and inhabit me personally is something that I just can’t understand. Praise God, I don’t have to understand it to be thrilled by it and to experience His presence in my life! I just accept His love in simple faith and choose to give my heart to Him. To Him I dedicate all of my plans and I know, based on His word, that He will never leave me or forsake me.
I wish I had the words to accurately describe the difference that “God with me” has made in my life. I am reminded of the traditional church hymn, “The Love of God” and verse three says it much better than I could:
|Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
This is what Christmas means to me. God’s love, made personal, inhabiting each and every child of His who accepts it. It’s offered to all of us as a free gift. All God asks us of us is our simple faith and belief in Him. Does He have your faith and belief? Have you given Him your heart and accepted His love? If you do, you will find that Christmas has more meaning and will give you more joy than you ever thought possible.