Christmas. The most wonderful time of year… for some people. I have a family that makes Christmas the best day of the year. I love Christmas Day more than any other day. It’s my absolute favorite. But to others, it’s a painful reminder of those that are gone or how lonely they feel. I pray today for those that feel lonely or lost. May you be reminded of this holiday’s true meaning and why you are most certainly not alone.
Christmas. The most wonderful time of year… for a reason. My favorite Christmas song this year has been “When I Think Upon Christmas” off of Hillsong Worship’s Peace Project album. (Will be posting this song on the blog immediately following this post.)
This song is so simple and so sweet and I can’t help but be reminded of why I love this holiday so much in the first place.
“When I think upon Christmas
Words can’t express
How our Father in heaven
Has sent us His best
To be born in a manger
The king in the hay
And creation will worship His Name”
God sent His best to be born in a manger. What a statement. The king in the hay that was worshiped by all of creation. A tiny baby sent so much joy throughout the world that King Herod felt threatened by an infant. Herod ordered so many baby boys to be murdered just so he could keep his throne. Little did he know, Jesus was not that type of king.
Jesus never held an earthly throne. Never was rich. Never had a crown of jewels placed upon His head. His life was simple. His ministry didn’t even begin until He was 30. Before that, He was a normal man. A carpenter. Born in a barn. Had siblings… probably argued with them. Simple, seemingly average life. Yet, creation was whispering His Name. Even though Herod was wrong to feel his crown was threatened- he was right to know the power of a baby born in a manger. For whenever we are born of nothing, God has called us to greater than we can imagine.
“For the joy of the world
He was born
Bringing peace to us all
Through the gift of the Son
Now the darkest of ages are done
For the Saviour of heaven has come”
The chorus of this song has been stuck in my head all month. The fact that Jesus was born to bring us joy and peace… that God loved us and wanted to be close to us, so He gave us this gift… it simply overwhelms me. God created the Heavens and He cares about me having peace. Me? A girl who lives in the suburbs of America, no one of significance or importance. God sent Jesus to bring me peace, joy, and light in my darkness and struggles. What. A. Gift. When darkness envelops your world, remember that the Saviour came to end the darkest of ages. Even though the media and the world seem to say otherwise, the darkness is over for He has come to save us all.
“Now I look back in reverence
To that holy night
For the God of the heavens
Had us on His mind
Let us sing of His glory
Rejoice in His Name
Oh Emmanuel with us always
And forever His kingdom will reign”
The ending verse of this song is my favorite. God had us on His mind. The day Jesus was born, God was thinking of you. “This boy is how my beloved will come home and know me well.” Just the knowledge of God breathing my name as Jesus drew His first breath astounds me. God thought of you- of your name. He wanted you to come close and to walk with Him, and Jesus was the way.
“Emmanuel.” I don’t know what it is about that name for God, but every time I hear it I seem to choke up. Emmanuel means “God with us.” I don’t know about you all, but I can feel pretty lonely sometimes. A boyfriend can’t fix that, friends can’t fix that, family can’t fix that. God can and He did. God is Emmanuel- with us always. When you cry yourself to sleep, Jesus is there. When you cry out in anger, Jesus is there. When no one knows the loss and devastation you feel, Jesus is there.
Emmanuel is the name most often used for God at Christmastime and that may just be why I love Christmas so much. For the joy and peace of the world, Emmanuel came with us on His mind to end the darkest of ages. When you feel lonely today, when you feel the pain of the past year, remember this. Remember why Christmas is celebrated in the first place. Remember that today is a celebration of a baby bringing us closer to God, to bonding us with Him forever. God hears your cries today and He feels your pain. And today He wants you to know that He is Emmanuel- with you always.