If I was waiting for a new king to come to earth today, I would expect him to be ready to take action. God’s people expected the same, all those years ago; they were waiting for someone to arrive and save the day, to take vengeance for His favored nation.
So, why would the Son of God come as an infant?
In order for God to make the full sacrifice for us, He chose to come into the world like us.
He grew like us and struggled like us. He even struggled with His sense of purpose and relevance—people actually called him “just a carpenter’s son.”
Let’s take a moment to review what we looked at last week in Part 1 of God’s Plan For The Best Christmas Ever.
The Birth of His Son starting off God’s plan to bring His children Home!
‘There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays’, ‘I’ll be Home For Christmas’, being HOME this time of the year is what we long for. Even though when we hear these words we think about our home here on earth, I believe that the longing we feel to be home with our Heavenly Father is woven into our whole being.
We were created to be in communion with Christ. In fact, you’ll remember that that’s the very meaning of the word Christmas:
Christ – The anointed. Mass – To be in communion.
So Christmas quite literally means to be in communion with Christ.
God also longs for the best Christmas ever, and He is preparing a place for us so He can finally welcome us home.
Last week we focused on what Mary was doing during all of the excitement: there was the bright, guiding star; all the angels singing; and the shepherds seeking Christ. And Luke tells us that “Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and was meditating on them.”
To treasure means to preserve something so that it will not perish. God’s gift of His son was exactly that: a treasure so that we would not perish.
This is part 2 of God’s Plan for The Best Christmas Ever, and that is Immanuel: God is with us!
Matthew 1:23 reads “Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel.” Emmanuel, or ‘God with us.’
As I was growing up, we had to hand-write letters, address the envelope, stick a stamp on it, put it in the mailbox,and wait days — even weeks or months! — for the response. We wrote more letters because calling was so expensive.
I even remember a time when some people didn’t even have answering machines, so if we did call and nobody picked up, we couldn’t leave a message. And if the line was busy, it was busy. We had to wait!
Now I can text someone instantly. I can open an app and see where my family members are at all times. I can even grocery shop using my phone, and the bags are delivered within the time frame I pick.
We can make changes and find answers in seconds. We are no longer waiting, we have become accustomed to having things immediately.
Instant results are nothing new. Genesis records that when God says “let there be” “there was”. Let there be light, there was light. Let there be water under the sky and it was so!
It would have been easier and much faster for God to use his instant power to change the hearts of men and bring us home. But God knows us – He knows that we doubt. He also wanted us to make a choice to follow Him.
In order for us to accept that God is who He says He is, He needed what my kids have referred to as ‘cred.’
He wanted us to be able to check out His credentials and make our own choices. So He came to dwell among us.
To be one of us and to be with us in every way.
The enemy’s plot is to isolate us, to get us away from God and make us believe we are alone. That no one knows us, no one understands us, and that everyone is judging us.
As a parent, I’ve been told,“Mom, you just don’t get what I am going through right now. Life was different for you.”
My kids seem to think that I had life easier than they did, that I was not tempted, bullied, left out, hurt, or that I did not make mistakes like they did. So my words of advice seem irrelevant to them.
God understands this too. How do I know this?
I often remind myself that God’s first two children didn’t think His advice was relevant either. They too had to try things out for themselves
God didn’t wait for humanity to come searching for Him on our own.
He knew that we couldn’t, so He came to dwell among us. If he had come as God, we would’ve probably told him that He didn’t get it: “Of course the way of the Lord is easy for You – You’re perfect!” “You’ve never been tempted, you’ve never sinned, you’re beautiful, you wave your hand and it’s so!”
But He came into the world helpless, needing his diaper changed, eventually even feeling frustrated with His helicopter parents who kept him from doing what He knew He needed to do.
He had to work on his temper, He displayed that in the temple, and He was tempted in every way you and I are! That means in every way! He was bullied, he was left out, I know that there were times when telling a lie would have been easier, He was tempted in every way!
In fact in Isaiah 53:2 we are told that he was not even attractive! He possessed no splendid form for us to see, no ‘desirable appearance’.
He was human. He needed credibility so that we would trust Him and follow him. We won’t just follow anyone – we need to trust that our leaders know where they’re going. That they’ve been where we want to go. They have traveled the road and it is familiar to them.
This is what’s so wonderful about our Heavenly Father: He sent His son to come and walk this road with us.
Jesus has been where we are longing to go, Heaven – Home!
He came here to live with us so that we could trust Him, so that when He says follow me and I will lead you home we know it is true.
I am excited to share a song with you that I was honored to record with my nephew Adam.
This song sums up today’s message. As we travel these unfamiliar roads of life, what best would ease our minds. Someone to give directions or a Father who says follow me, I will lead you home?
“My child you can trust me, follow me, I know the way because I have been there. I want to take you to live with me there!”
I’ll be taking the month of January 2022 off and when I return in February the podcast will be audio only.