Jesus assures His disciples He’s Immanuel in Matthew 28:20, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Not only is He with us, He lives in us (Galatians 2:20).
The problem with an often-told story is trying to hear it the way it originally unfolded and affected people. The Christmas story is a prime example…familiar and predictable. But the events surrounding the birth of Jesus were anything but expected! So much so that most of the Jewish people who were eagerly waiting for their Messiah totally missed His arrival!
Insight for Living offers a number of helpful resources that can help you see the Christmas story from a fresh, new angle. See this wondrous event through the eyes of the ordinary, everyday people whom God chose to involve. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the original meaning behind it all and with a heart bursting with gratitude for the incarnation of the Son of God.
While Rome was busy making history, God arrived. He pitched His fleshly tent on straw in a humble Bethlehem stable. Reeling from the wake of the Greats—Alexander, Herod, and Augustus—the world overlooked Jesus.
Our sentimental approach to Christ’s birth sanitizes the event to the point where we re-cast the story for palatability, nostalgia, and commercial manipulation.
At just the right moment, precisely as God had arranged it, and in keeping with a plan that He formed before the foundation of the world, the Messiah entered the scene of humanity.
While much of the time our odd traditions don’t cause conflict, sometimes they do collide—especially when these traditions involve family or holidays. It’s in these times I’m learning we must fuse our traditions.
Christmas is a very stressful time. All the things we do leading up to, during, and following Christmas stress us. And as with most times of high stress there follows a time of backlash we refer to as the blues.
Just beneath the soft, newborn skin of this beautiful story is the flesh and bone of a theological truth that is older than creation: God planned to send a Saviour long before time began.
It's during Advent I’m reminded of the duality of waiting—remembering the Hebrews who waited eagerly for the birth of their Messiah, but also the waiting we endure for the second coming of Christ.
“Do not be afraid.” We see this phrase recur throughout the Christmas story and it’s easy to gloss over without fully comprehending it.