Most Christmases you can get lost in what society has made it to be. Consumed by the traditions culture has created. Wrapped up and driven by all that seemingly needs to be done. So, when these things aren’t, you miss them. You may be especially impacted by the loss of the presence of people. Yet, there is a present in this which is greatest. It is an increased opportunity to encounter the Gift.
You miss people because you were created for relationship. You love; therefore, you miss. You hurt and grieve. All this because God created you for relationships with others. For community versus isolation. But He also created you for relationship with Him. This is first. It is out of relationship with Him, He designed all other relationships to flow. Yet how easily relationship with Him can slip to last.
Not this year.
At Christmas, we celebrate this God who can be known. Who wants to be known. God who is somehow distant because you cannot yet see and experience fully in that realm where He dwells so long as you are still in the realm in which you now find yourself. And yet this all-too-real God, knowable now. In a sense. To an extent. This invisible God came to a manger. God Most High. He came fully to us and remains. Jesus! God not only with us, but in us. In you. Indwelling. He in you and you invited to be in Him. Mystical. Wonderful.
Fathom for a moment, that this incomprehensible, higher-than-highest God wants to spend time with you! He is yearning for you to be less distracted by all the to-do’s and other things and even other people so you can have more time with Him. He is looking to see. Do you yearn for Him as He does for you? Do you know Him well enough yet for Him to be your greatest heart wish? To know you need Him in such a way that you ceaselessly search for Him like a deer who pants for water where there is none, because this deer knows if water is not found soon, it will die!
Christmas when there are those stretches of quiet, which may not be that for which you wished, is time to be with Him. To reflect on Him. To contemplate and ponder what He has shared about Himself. He is there waiting! He has secrets for you!
This is a goal of Christ-mas—the festival celebrating the birth of Christ because of the fullness of who He was and is. (Not just because of the manger.) To know Him more. To become more in love with Him so that you continue to make Him your increased focus throughout other parts of the year after Nativity scenes are put away. Becoming an ever more avid follower of God because you know you thirst.
Intimacy with God. Not sexual intimacy. Infinitely beyond this. More. Better. Higher. Deeper. Wider. Whole ecstasy beyond a moment. That which truly fulfills and satisfies, in an infinitely lasting way. A lifestyle of living with and for God. Purposeful. Fulfilling. Awe-filled.
So much talk about encountering Jesus at the manger. This is what is meant. To know Him because you have sought Him and He has fulfilled His promise to be found. This is the ultimate Christmas promise. When you seek Him like the Wise Men, you will come to know Him more. Deepening relationship with Him is what its actually about. All the rest is extra.
Lord, I am baffled and in awe that You who needs no one and nothing made me for relationship with You and that You long for me! Spirit enkindle a love in me for You which is beyond where it is now. Especially when I am confounded by some of what life has brought. I want to be angry with You sometimes. I am tempted to be bitter. Please forgive me. (Again.) Instead, fulfill Your promise and draw me near. Teach me more about Yourself. Oh, I can feel actual joy rising (and relief) at the thought of it! Thank you, Most High!
1 As the hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God.
2 My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?
2 Thus says the Lord Who made [the earth], the Lord Who formed it to establish it—the Lord is His name:
3 Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).
1 O God, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where no water is.
2 So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.
4 So will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips
6 When I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches.
7 For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice.
8 My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.
SONG Recommended: Glory to You in the Highest – Christmas Worship album
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