“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shown…” ~Isaiah 9:2
“And He will be their peace.” ~Micah 5:5a
I occasionally have theses paradigm-shifting moments where I realize that if I fully realized the impact of a certain reality, my whole mentality would shift.
Yes, I realize that was confusing, but read it again and I promise it makes sense.
Last night (Christmas Eve), I pondered what we are actually celebrating– yes, what most people clichely refer to as “the true meaning of Christmas.” I’m not here to rant about consumerism or bash how Americans don’t understand the Christmas story. I’m here to acknowledge that I tend to numb that nerve that connects the word “Immanuel” with what that actually means for my actual life as a 21st century American.
The infinite God– YAHWEH, the Creator of the whole universe who always was, always is, and always will be– decided once at the beginning of time to create me. And you. And He knew full well that you and I would choose sin time and time again. Even though He had every right to justly send us straight to hell, He decided that He wanted to come here.
He wanted to not just save us from our sins, but He wanted to meet us right where we are at. I think that’s one aspect of the Christmas story that we tend to under-emphasize or just completely miss– He came as a baby so that He could look us in the eyes as Someone who understands what it means to be a human. He has experienced the struggles, He knows the pain of watching someone die.
All because love meets you right where you’re at.
So what does this mean for me? For my life today?
So often I revert to this almost deistic state– and I think this mindset pervades much of Christian America, especially regarding Christmas. God is this distant– albeit omnipotent– Being that provides a moral compass, a backbone for statements like “Don’t worry! God’s in control!”, and an assurance of salvation.
Hence, stagnant, lukewarm American Christianity is born. I want to acknowledge here that I fall into this category frequently– I’m calling myself out as much as anyone else. I, too, pull the 1 minute prayers before bed and the mindless devotions, all while gushing, “Wow, Jesus is so good!” at Bible study and at church on Sunday.
But Jesus didn’t come down to Earth as a baby to just save us– He came to be WITH us. He didn’t go through the perils of being a human just for the heck of it. And honestly, He didn’t have to come as a baby. He could have saved us from our sins and died on the cross without going through 33 years of humanhood. Yet He chose to.
We serve an intensely personal God, a God who wants to know Him on the same level that He knows us, His greatest masterpieces.
THAT’S WHY HE CAME TO BE HERE WITH US.
So why am I not passionately and recklessly pursuing Him?