Reason for the Season

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23

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   The air has been filled with the scents of Christmas. Stores have been crowded with last minute shoppers. Trees have been decorated, gifts are being wrapped, carols are being sung. No doubt is Christmas almost here. But in the midst of busyness, of all the shopping, baking, and decorating, is the need to stop, to experience a "silent night"...to fully fathom the true reason for the season.

   Without the birth of Jesus, there wouldn't be any reason to celebrate. As he stepped into the world, clothed in flesh, yet fully God, He left His heavenly home to experience life as we have it. He experienced temptation, yet He never sinned. His presence in the world wasn't one of royalty. He was born in a manger, in a stable! But His later sacrifice for us, His true reason for stepping into the world as a human, was a gift that we should never stop celebrating.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:8-11

    This good news, the gift of His presence, was first announced to the shepherds. Ordinary people living ordinary lives, yet God chose them to be the first to hear the great news, news that will bring joy to all people. Why celebrate unless we're celebrating the biggest gift of all, the presence of the Savior in the world and the sacrifice He would later give for us? We all get so caught up in the busyness of the season, when we just need to stop and take in this "silent night", a night that forever changed the course of our lives and has determined and changed the rest of our eternity! Christmas is so much more than the temporal. It's about Jesus, Immanuel, "God with us".

    God is with us. His arrival on Earth is enough to celebrate this Christmas. His love for us and work through each and every one of our lives is incredible. It began with His presence in the lives of ordinary people living ordinary lives and still today, He shows up in our ordinary lives when we least expect it. Let's celebrate the arrival of His presence 2000 years ago and His constant presence today rather than getting caught up in all the presents and food, in the noise of the season, a noise that drowns out the true joy of Christmas--that GOD IS WITH US.

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