As we look toward Christmas and listen to the story of Jesus coming to earth as a baby, we are reminded that “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). This isn’t just a beautiful story we tell once a year. It happened! Christmas is a time we celebrate, as a historical event, when God decided to walk among us.
Christ entered a messy world where injustice, fear and political unrest surrounded Him. God chose to walk among us and rescue us. But did He come to rescue us from the mess or from something else? What did you and I need rescuing from?
To understand why we need rescuing, we have to go to the beginning, to the first book of the Bible: Genesis.
In the garden, Adam and Eve walked with God. God was with them.
Things were good until Adam and Eve were deceived into believing their way was better than God’s way. In that moment, their relationship with God changed.
When they decided to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, their relationship with God changed.
Their eyes were opened to the differences that surrounded them. They saw the differences in one another, they saw the difference between themselves and God, and they saw the difference between good and evil.
Adam and Eve chose to do what was right in their own eyes rather than trusting that what God wanted was best for them. We do the same daily. The story of Adam and Eve represents each of our hearts and the desires we struggle with. Those desires wedge their way between us and God.
From the very beginning, when things first fell apart, God was working on a plan to rescue us from our deceitful desires and restore our relationship. That plan included coming to earth as a small baby, living among us, dying on the cross and conquering death.
Christmas is a time when we celebrate God restoring a relationship that had been lost. “God is with us” is a restoration of how God had wanted it to be from the beginning, when our sin and our determination to do things our way kept that from happening.
Christmas Next Step:
This year, as you prepare your heart for Christmas, reflect on your relationship with God. Do you truly trust God, or are you holding on so tightly to your opinions that you are missing out on the relationship He desires to have with you?
God came to us that first Christmas so that we could have a personal relationship with Him. If you don’t yet have that and are curious, read “Would You Like to Know God Personally?”
Cru staff members wishing you a Merry Christmas in their heart language.
Neil Downey compares the week between Christmas and New Year's Day to our current era in history - the time between Christ's first and second coming.
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