Overcome by Christmas

December 22, 2015
Christmas, Faith-based, Relationship Building

Do you find yourself celebrating or complaining these days… festive, exuberant and peaceful or frustrated, exhausted and perturbed?

It’s easy to fall into a complaining mindset while trying to accomplish all of the expectations associated with the Christmas holiday: baking cookies, shopping for presents, writing the Christmas letter, addressing and mailing Christmas cards, stringing lights, decorating the Christmas tree, wrapping presents, grocery shopping for the holiday meal with all the trimmings. It’s no wonder we feel overcome by Christmas; exhausted and perhaps cranky, short-tempered with those we love most. Unfortunately, even we who celebrate the birth of Jesus as the “Reason for the Season” are frequently caught up into this whirlwind.

And, what is the reason for being overcome by Christmas? Did God send Jesus as a lowly babe to add to our life undue stress and such frenzied activity once a year? Of course not! As a matter of fact, a well-known pronouncement at his birth, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14) tells us just the opposite. God desires to lead and guide us by his influencing presence so we can maintain a peaceful spirit during the hustle and bustle of life; rather than descending into a hurried, weary state.

And yet, I do want to pose the question, “What if God DOES intend for us to be overcome by Christmas?”

A story is told in a recent devotional of a young girl who had never heard about Jesus until her family showed up at church for free food. Ironically, she landed the role of the Virgin Mary in the annual pageant. Ultimately, the young girl broke down crying as she sat next to the manger overcome by the wonder and magnitude of what God did for her.

God With Us

Notice what God did for each of us:

  • The first and foremost one-size-fits-all present.
  • The inspiring presence of God Himself in Jesus Christ.
  • The promise that His presence would never forsake us.
  • Not a hope or delayed expectation, but a reality for our daily life.

In the first book of the New Testament, Matthew identified Jesus as “Christ” (1:16) and as “Emmanuel” (1:23). When we consider that the word Christ means “anointed” and the name Emmanuel means “God with us,” we are able to realize that Jesus was “The anointing presence of God that came to dwell among people.”

Perhaps we’ve heard this concept of “God with us” so many times that the magnitude of the transaction has been diluted; has lost its “wow” power. In the coming of Jesus Christ, God amplified His desire to dwell with us, among us, and in our midst as a dwelling presence.

Declaring His love and care for us

The “wow” begins with how God chose to enter our world: in the form of a babe born in a lowly manger, born to parents of no means, first announced to humble shepherds, far from anything that can possibly be linked with means or importance. God chose to come as a common person and declare His love and care for all of us, even the lowliest.

Scripture clearly states God’s intention has always been to dwell in fellowship with each one of us. Jesus Christ came to invite each of us to partake of the fellowship of His presence. Christ is the perfect gift for you and me, promising to be with each of us today and throughout our life.

God in our midst

The word “Christ” speaks of more than the historical Jesus. In Acts 4:26-27 Christ is used to speak of God’s anointing on Jesus. Christ is also the presence of God that comes into our midst” to inspire, anoint, influence, lead, and guide us.

Jesus introduced the coming of our heavenly Father’s governing presence 2000 years ago while the Roman Empire ruled. When Jesus began His public ministry, He declared the prophesied time had come for God’s kingdom influence to be “among us.”

Jesus came… preaching the gospel [good news] of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15).

Jesus, as the presence of God among us, began changing lives then and has continued to influence life throughout human history. Today, as then, God’s presence continues to inspire all who receive Him. Christmas is a time that invites everyone to overcome the stressful separation from God’s abiding presence and enter into His relational way of living, “God with us.”

Resources to help

We share resources about this way of living at here RelationalGospel.com; we’d be pleased and honored to know our resources and experiences have helped you grow closer to God.

Specifically, I elaborate more on relational life with God and others in The Christ Culture, where I’ve compiled countless Scriptural insights about walking in the Ways of God from my personal life-changing journey. Many folks are finding it an excellent resource for group discussions and we provide a Leader’s Guide to facilitate this.

You can find the book The Christ Culture shared here on our site and in print and eBook versions at RelationalGospel.com. Perhaps you’ll find them helpful and supportive of your growth in the Ways of God. Truly this is A Way of Life Like No Other.

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