FOR ME FOR YOU
For those of us who live in North America the word conjures up visions of trees frosted with snow, ice skating, colored lights, chimneys and stockings, sweets and surprises.
It’s a time of joy and generosity.
But I believe the real purpose of Christmas is much deeper than most of us want to consider. It’s the remembrance of God’s great sacrifice. It’s the application of that sacrifice to our individual lives.
God amputated part of Himself when He came to earth as a helpless human infant. The mysterious relationship of the Trinity was severed for a time. The Father waited at the precipice of Heaven while the Son walked through time and space and humanity. The Holy Spirit lingered at the portal between Heaven and Earth knowing what agony the Son must suffer before He, Himself, would come to Earth to be our Comforter.
I cannot imagine the immeasurable God confining Himself to the size of a woman’s ovum. I cannot understand the Light of God existing in the darkness of Mary’s womb for nine months. And to consider that the pure and holy God exited her body through blood, amniotic fluid and placenta, and then took His first breath in a stable filled with filth and pungent smells.
For ME. For YOU.
That kind of love and self-sacrifice is what we should celebrate at Christmas and how we should live out our relationships every day.
I appreciate the joy, the fun, the gift-giving and celebrating of Christmas time. But I also reflect on the sacrifice of the Incarnation for my sins. I want to never forget that part of Christmas. Perhaps that is why my tree is decked with symbols of the Nativity, my mantle and buffet are dressed with manger scenes and a Christmas Cross hangs in my kitchen.
Matthew 1:23 says: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Those words echo Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
IMMANUEL God with us. God in a manger. God in sandals. God on a cross. God in a grave. God resurrected. God on High at the right hand of the Father.
And God IN us.
This Christmas, if you have not already done so, please give God your greatest gift—
John 1:9-14 says: “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
For ME. For YOU.
By Jean Matthew Hall
Writing Encouraging Words