For the past 3 or 4 weeks, Christians around the world have been enjoying the annual retelling of the story of the birth of Jesus. And now that Christmas has passed, many have rolled up the lights, mulched the tree, and put away the manger scene until next year. While our focus on the first act of Christ’s earthly life takes a break (until next December), I want to take a moment to remind you that the announcement proclaimed by prophets (Is 7:14) and angels (Matt 1:23) is the same one that Christ reiterated just before He left the earth.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The best news about the Gospel story is that our Savior’s advent into the world isn’t temporary like our Christmas decorations. It’s permanent. And though Christ ascended into heaven and is no longer physically present, the scripture proclaims the joyful reality that for believers, Christ is still living with us and IN us today! (John 14:20;17:23; Rom 8:10; Gal 2:20)
So as you box up Christmas until next December and turn to face the unknowns of a new year, remember that though you may at times feel lonely, abandoned or forgotten, you are never alone. While he has many titles and roles to fill in our lives and in the world, Jesus assured us He was, is and will always remain…
Emmanuel: God with Us!