Focal Passages: Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 1:18-25
Christmas time is more than exchanging gifts and visiting with family. It is about celebrating the arrival of God Himself. Isaiah prophesied about the birth of Christ in the Old Testament (Isaiah 9:6-7).
In the New Testament, the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and told him that Mary would give birth to a son and they would call him “Immanuel,” which means God with us (Matt 1:18-25).
The significance of these proclamations about Jesus is more than just the birth of a child.
They are about who Christ is and why He came. God is not some cosmic force; He is Jesus, God in the flesh, who came not only to die for us and save us from our sin, but also to be with us in every facet of life.
Many years ago my oldest brother was putting up groceries with his wife when a neighbor stopped by to visit.
Unknowing to them my brother’s youngest son, Zeb, not quite two years old, snuck out of the house to play with his older brother and sister.
Tragically, as little Zeb walked close to the road, a man driving under the influence of alcohol struck and killed my brother’s son. It was a horrific day in the life of my family.
Over the next several days after the accident we watched as people poured out love to our family. More importantly, I was amazed at God’s all-consuming presence as He comforted us in the time of loss.
I really don’t know how people deal with tragedy apart from the presence of Christ. Since Zeb’s death we light a candle and leave his stocking out every Christmas at my parent’s house.
When we read the Christmas story and glance up at Zeb’s candle we are reminded that life is too short and too difficult without the presence of God. Jesus has made it possible that you and I could know Him personally and not just theologically.
Christ is real, and we know that because He dwelt among us (John 1:14).