The lights twinkle, the music plays, children rush around – sugar coursing through their veins and yet the hush of the seasons whispers something profound, “I am with you.” I am with you, echos over and over as we tune our ear to hear the Peace of Christmas. He whispers, “I did it all to be with you.” For many it may not be a bustle of sound, kids bickering over who measures the sugar, or the crinkle of wrapping paper – it may simply be the silence. The loneliness of it all that draws away from the whisper, “I am with you.” 2000 some years ago the earth was walking lost. From what we know void of a connection with their Creator in any personal sense. The promises had been declared and the prophets had prophesied but in an intense season of waiting I imagine little hope, little comfort and whole lot of wondering the point of it all. In the Heavens a time had been chosen, orchestrated and placed. For God was coming. A girl and an angel. A bridegroom and an angel. An aunt and an angel. A burst of hope entered the hearts of those in a tiny village in a small pocket of the world. A burst of expectancy and awe-abiding fear.
Enter a baby brought forth from obedience, sacrifice, and love.
The Son of God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Alpha and Omega, Lion of the tribe of Judah, Lamb of God, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Redeemer, Light of the World, The Way, The Truth, The Life, Faithful and True, Messiah, I Am,
Immanuel – God with us. The angels cried out in adoration the night of His birth. The time had come for God to walk the land of His lost people. The shepherds heard and the wise men knew. The humble stable became a holy place in the hills of Judea. A baby born in humility to live a life of humility – to the point of death on a cross. So what does it all mean that God came down to be with us?
We see the brokenness, feel the ache of our own hearts. We know too well the feeling of stress, grief, despair, loneliness, death, betrayal, unmet hopes and dreams. We look left and right and it’s there, present brokenness – past hurt. Didn’t He come to bring peace, hope, joy and love?
The answer is one the angels proclaimed that starry night,
” And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people…
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Fear not. He did come, not to simply bring, but to BE our Peace. Our Hope. Our Joy. Our Love. He is it, the redeemer of ALL things. In the midst of life He is present. There is no question that Jesus’ time here on earth was short in the grand scheme of time. He himself didn’t go far and wide. Hear this – He could have. He could have gone to every small town, big city, and touched each blade of grass in between. But the Father placed Him and He stayed. His heart was for all but He was present with those around Him. We, like the disciples, wonder often why He had to go, why He doesn’t come back already, His presence with us is our Peace, isn’t it? As His disciples wondered, Jesus comforted them.
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Read it again. Be comforted. Earlier in the same passage Jesus also promises, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” You are not left alone. In the loneliness or in the noise of life. Let your heart rejoice that He is present with you. He promised one better would come, who would go to the ends of the earth and bring Joy to the world. The amazing part about it is that He dwells with us, in us, through the Holy Spirit, enabling us to go with all authority to proclaim His glory. Simply proclaim who He is in your life. Proclaim how He cast your sin from you as far as the east is from the west, how He made you a new creation. Not free from trouble or pain. But in the midst of this broken world, until He does return again in glory, how He is your Peace, your Hope, your Joy, your Love in the midst of it all.
The ends of the earth are waiting. Closer than you think. He came to redeem the world. To set captives free. From fear, worry, despair, guilt, shame, you name it – He came and conquered it. But there is a multitude of us thanks to those faithful few who trusted Jesus’ at His word. That took hold of the Spirit dwelling in them. And God moved. The multitude is scattered – perfectly placed. Just as the Father placed Jesus in a tiny town in a small pocket of the world 2000 some years ago. He has also placed you. He has placed me. Neighbors, husbands, kids, friends, family, the unseen men, women and children in your community need your presence. Because and only because Christ is dwelling in you. He made you uniquely to reveal Him uniquely. Let’s be relational…intentional. Enter in. Slow down. Look up. Speak Truth in love. Point to your hope – Jesus. Let’s rejoice with the angels and walk with Immanuel, “God with us.”