God with us.

God with us.

Every year we talk about how the Christmas season is so hard for many people.

It’s always acknowledged, but all the acknowledgements in the world won’t change the fact that many of us will be crying inside at times this Christmas, even as we’re surrounded by family and friends who love us more than we know.

But don’t you know that this ache, this emptiness, this longing loneliness is the very reason Christmas even exists?

This world is broken. People fail. Hearts shatter. People hurt. People die.

So God wrapped himself in trembling flesh to heal that brokenness for eternity.

God with us.

Not God peering down on us from the heights of His holiness. Not God ruling over us. Not God commanding us from a distant galaxy.

No.

God with us.

God wailing with hunger and cold.

God being carried from His home country to safety.

God playing in the very dirt His fingers once molded to form the first of his people.

God trying to escape the exhausting press of a crowd.

God sleeping in a boat in the middle of a churning sea.

God weeping.

God making a meal for his best friends.

God sweating our blood, pleading with His Father for an easier path.

God dying.

God hurling away our sin and drawing us near to Himself.

God with us.

In our pain, in our sorrow, in our heartbreak, in our loneliness, in our brokenness, in our despair…

God with us.

God promising that the brokenness of this world is not the end. The end of the brokenness will come and seep into eternity…

Us with God.

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Christmas Reflections… Am I Playing Herod?

Christmas Reflections… Am I Playing Herod?

A few days ago I was reading the Christmas story to my littlest sister… a story I’ve heard a thousand times over. Sadly, being so familiar with it sometimes hardens my perception of its wonder. But a new thought hit me as I read to her the part about Herod.

Am I being Herod?

You’re probably thinking, What an terrible thing to say. But hear me out. Herod was the king of Judea… and very comfortable in his position of authority. Even though Jesus was a baby, and destined to save His people in a far different way than anyone imagined, Herod saw Him as a serious threat to his authority.

When Jesus comes into our lives, He poses a very serious threat to our position of authority. It’s His nature ’cause He’s, well, God. Completely deserving of all authority.

So how do we respond to this? Do we accept His rule in our lives? Or do we follow Herod’s example and try to retain our own authority?

Obviously, our desperation to remain king of our own lives is manifested in a far different way than Herod’s was. We fight for our rights in tiny, subtle ways… and therein lies the danger.

Choice by choice, thought by thought, little deed by little deed, we cling to our authority in rebellion. Somehow we think that we’re wiser than God. That His ways are not the best ways… ours are.

We’re wrong, of course. But still we fight Him.

How foolish.

First of all, as Christians, we have been bought at a price. We belong to the Lord – we’ve given our lives to Him, and we have no right to take them back.

Second of all, it’s unreasonable. Romans 11:36 and 12:1 state, … of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Surrendering all that we are to God’s all-deserving authority is the only reasonable thing to do. Think about it – why wouldn’t we surrender our lives to the all-knowing, perfect God of love?

How can we look at history and see the way God has beautifully woven it together and not trust Him with the story of our own lives? How can we look at Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection – the ultimate proof of God’s love – and not trust that God will rule our lives in the most loving and perfect way possible?

Seriously… how?

Let’s not be fools. Let’s not be like Herod and resist the authority of the Lord. Let’s surrender everything we are to God this Christmas season… and every day until eternity.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash