Please enjoy this guest post written by my oldest daughter. She’s been thinking a lot lately…
People often ask me why Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Is it the presents? The beautiful lights? The (occasionally theoretical) snowfall? Singing Christmas carols? Going to church to celebrate Jesus’ birth? Well, yes to all of the above, but there’s more.
In the Christmas Eve service, before we hear the familiar story of the Nativity, several lessons from the Old Testament are read. When I was younger I usually didn’t pay much attention to these. Oh yeah, Adam and Eve got tricked by Satan. Cool, Abraham’s going to be Jesus’ great-great-great-great grandpa. Can we hear about the shepherds now? But this year I really listened. And I heard Isaiah’s prophecies about the Messiah’s coming.
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. […]
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain.”
And then, in Matthew:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means God With Us.”
And this year I really put those together. When God is with us, we have nothing more to fear. When God is with us, we can relax into his love, because he can handle everything the world can throw at us. Sin? Taken care of. Death? Fixed that problem. The power of Satan? Sent straight to the cross. Because that’s why God wanted to be with us. He wanted to come to us so that he could wrap us up in His love and take away everything that would make us afraid, everything that would tell us that we aren’t worth it, God couldn’t possibly care about us. God came down to us so that we could be with Him forever. Immanuel: God with us, God around us, God wrapping us up in the biggest hug imaginable and chasing away all the monsters under our beds.
That’s what makes Christmas merry for me. Knowing that Jesus Christ has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, that I may be his own.