Now that we have arrived at the twelfth month of the year, we look back at the year that has been and have been witnesses to God’s faithfulness. No doubt, there have been some rough spots personally and in other ways in this year. But His faithfulness is obvious. Even though, we do live at times as if he was not there, and whether we consciously are always aware of his presence or not, he is faithful all day, every day.
Christmas reminds us that God desires an up-close, personal relationship with you and I. Think of the extreme measures he went through to even make that possible. Even though he created us to love him, we blatantly turned our back on him and accepted the offer of the evil one. We choose to deliberately walk away from God’s offer of unconditional love and his eternal care.
Not that God was caught by surprise, his Word tells us that his plan of redemption was drawn up in eternity past. His Son was sent to carry out that plan. He was born of a virgin; he lived a sinless life in order to die a death that would redeem us from the power of archenemy of God. You and I are redeemed by faith in what Christ accomplished on the cross when he shed his blood to pay for and cover our sin.
God in his faithfulness prepared the scene. As you read through the Gospels this Christmas season and get a sense that none of this happened by chance! Not one thing! From the opening chapters of Genesis right through the book of Revelation, God is unveiling his plan to welcome you into his presence.
He has not forgot about you. He is continuing to call you to know him and to grow in your relationship to him. He is patient enough to allow you to sense your desperate need of him on a daily basis. You see, even though we are surrounded by so many rivals, none of them can match what God wants to give us through Christ. Yet…we keep trying to find that “something, or someone else better”. We try to logically argue that this God thing is a figment of our own imagination. We attempt to rationalize that this “Jesus thing” was created by a bunch of right-wing wackos who are seeking to control our lives.
Not only has he not forgot about you, the gift of his presence in the person of Jesus Christ, seals the deal. I love the New Testament story of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15. It illustrates perfectly what God did at Christmas. Those who rebelled against God, who wanted their inheritance now, who tried to deny their Father’s existence, found themselves eating at the pig trough, only to find out later that there was a banquet fit for a king prepared for them. That is grace! That is the gift of presence.
You may be new to the faith. You may be running from the faith. You may have already attempted to deny the faith. God still loves you and is ready to welcome you back! My only word of advice is, don’t wait! His presence is waiting to embrace you again with his eternal love and unrelenting care.
You may have followed Jesus for many years. Please my friend, don’t let his presence become a thing of the past. Don’t let it become something that you are so accustom to that it is no longer a wonder that it took you so long to find it. Let his presence renew your heart and your hope this Christmas season!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Pastor Bill Finch