The past year or so, we’ve accidentally fallen into a new Christmas tradition: Watching Christmas movies in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day.
One of my favorites is Home Alone. It makes me laugh out loud. Especially when Marv is screaming like a girl while the huge spider crawls on him. HAHAHA!
What surprised me though, is when I felt the pinprick of tears behind my eyelids. It happened while watching Kevin, all alone, trudge through the snow, climb the ladder and cut the top off a beautiful fir tree. I imagined the weight of that little tree for that little boy. It was the heavy weight of knowing he would spend Christmas alone. All alone, he dragged the tree into the house. All alone he set it up and made it beautiful with family ornaments. All alone.
Remembering all too clearly my first Christmas alone many, many years ago, the tears threatened to spill over. There was the heartache of a painful separation with nothing but divorce looming in the new year. Like Kevin, I put up a tiny tree. There were no wrapped gifts under it, but I barely noticed. I was all wrapped up in the pain of rejection.
There was no awe for me that Christmas so many years ago. I was all alone.
But that wasn’t true then, and it’s not true now. We are never alone. We have Immanuel, God with us.
Reclaim the awe of Christmas by remembering the Savior.
Jesus left His heavenly home to live with us on earth. He came down to us!
And the Word (Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 ESV
He was a babe born in a lowly stable. But He would save us from our sins, and live with us.
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). Matthew 1:21-23 ESV
The birth of Jesus is not the first time in scripture that we see Immanuel, God with us.
-He was there in the garden: And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day… Genesis 3:8 ESV
-He was there in the fire and cloud: The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. Exodus 13:21 NASB
-He was there in the earthly tabernacle: Now on the day that the tabernacle was erected the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and in the evening it was like the appearance of fire over the tabernacle, until morning. Numbers 9:15 NASB
-He was there leading the way into the promised land: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NASB
-He is here with us today in the person of the Holy Spirit, to be with us always, to comfort and strengthen us, and to live inside us and guide us: But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. John 14:26 AMP
In the storm clouds of life, and the fires of affliction, God is with us. He will lead and guide us.
From the garden to the grave1, at the beginning and at the end2, we are never alone. That’s God’s promise to us.
“… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NASB
And that is the awe of Christmas: God with us.
All year long. Christmas never ends when you have Immanuel in your heart.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Merry Christmas, my friends!
1 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8 New Living Translation
2 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
Revelation 21:3 ESV