Advent, Wk 4, Day 1 – Jesus, God With Us
As I look back over the first Christmas, life for this small family wasn’t easy. They endured much – rejection, uncertainties, and facing evil in order to follow God’s amazing plan for them. Yet, this story isn’t ultimately about the difficulties. Why?
An amazing thing about the first Christmas isn’t that this family endured immense hardships, but that they chose to endure, seeing even dimly something so much bigger – trusting that God had chosen, through them, to dwell among men!
Mary birthed the Son of God, because God longed to dwell with us, fulfilling a promise made hundreds of years before.
God dwelt with us not as the royalty he deserved, but as the son of a poor carpenter; allowing himself to endure every heartache and difficulty we endure.
Jesus came to be a compassionate high priest before God on our behalf. (Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT)
In dwelling with us, Jesus fully demonstrated God’s amazing grace and truth before all mankind perfectly; tempted in every way we are, yet never once falling prey to selfish motives or evil’s intentions.
Jesus came to make a way for us to return to God, no matter what drew us away from God. (Romans 5:6-9 NLT)
Jesus dwelt among us knowing ahead of time that his ultimate purpose was to be
- turned on by a friend,
- turned over to blood thirsty religious leaders who reviled and beat him senselessly, and
- turned away from those he came to save, to face a cruel Roman crosspiece
So that through his death and resurrection three days later, any who come to him will find rest in restored relationship with Almighty God.
This is the amazing gift of Christmas!
He didn’t have to.
He did it for us.
So, as we face our own painful Christmas, how would things change if we began to look for Jesus in the middle of the pain? What if we began to search for the magnificent plan he has for us as we go through the pain? How would that change things?
Throughout this final week of Advent, we will be looking once again through the Christmas story to see God’s gifts in the middle – those magnificent moments that make the story of the babe in a manger so extraordinary.
As we do, I pray that you will begin to see your story in a new light – through the lens that you aren’t alone, and there is a magnificent plan for you through pain, because – God chose to dwell with us!
With much love,