Immanuel God with us
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
I will refrain from singing as I might put you off.
Without mentioning the central theme of the season for a moment, everywhere we look we can see the signs and yes, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Everywhere we can see the signs of the season, from Christmas trees to flashing lights, from Santa Claus to mistletoe, from Christmas carols to fruit mince pies. From Mariah Carey singing ‘all I want for Christmas is you’, sorry a personal favorite of mine that I sing to my wife at Christmas. Now I am putting you off.
In the midst of the candles, the tinsels and the celebrations, it is near impossible to go around without noticing Christmas. But sadly for many it is not so hard to bypass the heart of Christmas, the birth of Jesus. For as each year passes by, Jesus is moved further to the back and Santa Claus is moved to the front and center.
As Christians we are adamant that we are going to keep Jesus in our Christmas at our front and center and hopefully in a way the world would notice him. In regards to the world it would appear that we are not succeeding, however, let’s keep bringing Jesus to the front and center of our Christmas in such a way that the world notices. Now I don’t want us to be beating people over the head with the nativity scene in the hope that they might understand the true message of Christmas, for sadly this is the impression that some get from us.
So how can we bring Jesus to the front and center? Some of it maybe through the special services, like the carols nights and the other Christmas events and the acts of kindness as some give of their time and resources to bless those struggling with life. These can be effective ways but I would like to consider another aspect of this. That is bringing Jesus to the front and center of our own life. For what good is Christmas if Jesus is not at our front and center.
I come back to that song, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.” The author of the song is implying that he is beginning to see the signs of it everywhere. Well we can see Jesus, the heart of Christmas, everywhere. Maybe we need to look a little harder but He is there. I am not saying that every aspect of the celebrations of Christmas points to Jesus, they could but not all do.
What I am saying is that we don’t want to go through another Christmas saying it is getting harder to see Jesus. For the truth is we can see him any time and everywhere, we just have to open our eyes and maybe close our eyes to the distractions. To me it is about practicing the presence of Christ.
To practice the presence of Christ is about an awareness that;
- Christ is in control,
- Christ is speaking,
- Christ is listening,
- Christ is with us,
We can see Him and the evidence of His handiwork in everything.
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together * (Col 1:15-17 NIV)
Now this is the heart of Christmas that I want to celebrate that Christ is everywhere, and with us, for He is the heart of Christmas, the Immanuel, God with us.
The first step may be as simple as to open our eyes and see Jesus. He is all around us and He is with us and as Christians He is in us. And before we get led into the extremes of mysticism that see him as an intangible influence. Like the idea presented to us in Star Wars, may the force be with us, no He is a Person, the Son of the living God and we can have a real and personal relationship with him.
Therefore, in the midst of the season of celebrations don’t let the world take Christ out of your view and don’t get hung up on what others don’t see. And don’t run through Christmas in such a way that you fail to see Jesus.
If you are struggling to see Jesus, spend some time reading and meditating on the biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus and in doing so you can rekindle your love for the one who is the heart of Christmas.
Immanuel, God with us.
Have a blessed Christmas in and with the presence of Jesus
Rev. Rex E Rigby