“ Oh taste and see that the Lord is good, How blessed is the man who take refuge in him” Psalm 34:8
Christmas is the time of Jesus’ birth. As a Christian I know that each year Christmas is a time to rejoice in the beautiful, and memorable, birth of our savior Jesus! I mark the occasion yearly by putting out my small little nativity set as a nice reminder of my savior’s humbling sacrifice. I then go about Christmas in a hurried and lavish fashion by adorning my home in lights, ornaments, a huge Christmas tree, and pretty much green and red I can find! Now in my defense I also make sure to attend Christmas eve services by candle light. But, If I’m being honest I probably spend longer getting myself dressed in my “Christmas best,” than I actually do at the Christmas Eve service. Anyone else out there with me? Sometimes I forget that Christmas is actually about Christ.
Last night I was finishing up dinner and had a simple choice, I could either go do my bible study and really encounter Jesus, or I could watch a Christmas movie. I’ll be honest, I chose the Christmas movie. This morning I woke up and felt a bit “guilty.” So I figured I’d read through the Christmas Story in Luke. I read through it quickly, familiar with the story. After I had finished, I closed by bible and was bummed that I didn’t feel any different. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but I wondered why hadn’t I felt suddenly overwhelmed with Jesus Christmas cheer? After all, I just read the actual CHRISTmas story!
Well, Jesus is patient sisters, He pressed upon my heart the honest and bracing truth. The Christmas story is way bigger than Christmas. Jesus being born isn’t even chapter one. People often classify Christmas as the remarkable night of Jesus’ birth. The truth is sister; Jesus being born isn’t the pinnacle. The story doesn’t stop there; in fact, it didn’t even start there! The need for Jesus came way before away in a manger.
The book of Isaiah predicts the birth of Jesus long before his mother Mary was even born! Generations upon generations had been waiting for this redeemer who would end all injustice and bring healing. He was to be the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Wonderful Counselor. God was going to live among humans, and die to save them. To save us. And yet, we often only recall this gift one day a year.
Isaiah prophesied that Jesus was to be called “Immanuel” which means God with us. Imagine that with me for a moment sister, God is WITH US. Christmas is about God being among us, being in us, and working through us. Christmas is experiencing the sacrifice of our God.
What a wakeup call huh?
So why do we still place Jesus last on our Christmas Holiday to do list? We’re so invested in Christmas love, Christmas cheer, or cheesy Christmas miracles that we miss the divine miracle that we can experience every dang day!
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Christmas is one of the loneliest times of year, or the time with the highest depression. We are looking for our fulfillment in all the wrong places. We spend so much time looking for a Christmas cheer, that we miss the chance to have a beautiful encounter with Jesus every day, in every person we meet, and every song we sing.
What about you, sister? Are you encountering your Immanuel every day?
I wonder how Christmas might be different if we read the whole story, experienced the whole Jesus?
So sisters, I want to invite you to encounter Jesus along side me.
I’ve provided a Christmas Reading plan that outlines the true glory and need for Jesus. Let’s explore the character of Jesus deeper. Let’s read his truth beyond just the manger.
I’M SO READY JESUS!