“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23
The holidays are the most family-oriented weeks of the year. Yet for many – those who have no family, singles, widows and widowers, the divorced among us, and those with painful and negative family experiences – the holidays can be the most difficult time of the year. As a pastor every year I had parishioners who asked me in early November to pray for them to make it through the holidays.
The hard reality is that lonely, depressed, and anxious people are lonelier, more depressed, and more anxious during the “season to be jolly” than at any other time of the year.
At the same time, the last four weeks of the year are filled with joy and happiness for millions of people and their families. Whether the holiday season is your favorite time or your most difficult time of the year, consider bringing the true meaning of Christmas to your holidays and to every day of your new year.
Try to block out the advertising blitz of the commercial Christmas. Carefully read the Christmas scriptures in the first two chapters of Matthew and Luke, and then read the first 18 verses of the Gospel of John.
You will see that the essence of Christmas can be described by the word incarnation. The biblical word ‘carne’ is the Greek word for ‘flesh.’ When we consider Christmas, we find ourselves face to face with the incarnation – the miracle that God decided to make human flesh God’s address when Christ was born in Bethlehem.
When asked about Jesus a little boy replied: “Jesus is God with skin on.”
Emmanuel, God with us.
Dick Woodward, A Christmas Prescription