he made himself nothing to give us everything.
THE WORD BECAME FLESH AND MADE HIS DWELLING AMONG US.
Surely, you remember Ebeneezer Scrooge?
He was visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve—sent as agents of change, sent to announce impending doom if he didn’t reform his selfish, miserly ways. Those ghosts were a horror and a grace to Ebeneezer—revealing terrible truths meant to release him from the greed that consumed him. Ebeneezer was miraculously transformed by the stories of his own past, present, and future Christmases. Like Ebeneezer, I want that same kind of transformation! I want to be awakened and transformed not by ghosts of my own Christmases, but by the True God of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come. I want to know the unchanging God who reigns over time, and yet stepped into it, the true Father Christmas who gives gifts that will never perish, spoil, or fade. I want to know the God of Christmas Past who was born of a virgin, the God of Christmas Present who lives in our hearts, and the God of Christmas Yet-to-Come who will return to be with us again (hint: he’s the same God). Let’s visit the God of Christmas Past and be reminded of the most wondrous, true tale ever told. Want to hear it?
The whole Bible tells the tale of Christmas.
Maybe that sounds strange. Let me explain. I don’t mean Christmas trees and presents and candlelit services. I mean Christmas—the celebration of Immanuel, GOD WITH US, the Christ-child come to right every wrong and rejoin us to himself for all time. This is Christmas: the beautiful reunion story of God and man through the God/Man, Jesus Christ. What more could there be to celebrate?!?! And the entire Bible, every single word of it, points to this glorious truth—God wants to be with us. Our memory verse says it this way, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The unmade Maker entered our world just to dwell with us. You see, God isn’t distant or angry. He hasn’t left us out alone in the cold. Instead, he is very much pursuing us, longing for us, making his home with us. Christmas only exists at all because God overcame every obstacle, underwent trauma, and endured humiliation just to be with us. His love for us is boundless and mind-boggling, and it is on full display in his Christmas story.
On the podcastMeet our friend, Tara-Leigh Cobble! Tara-Leigh has a passion for helping people know and love the Bible. We are eager for you to get to know her and find out more about. the resources she offers this month. Check out our newest episode with her today.
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God’s intent has always been and forever will be to dwell with us.
Genesis starts with God dwelling with his children in loving, unbroken, beautiful fellowship. That was his original good plan for humanity. But we know how the story goes: God's kids doubted their Father’s love and good intentions, and they broke everything that was beautiful and good with distrust and disobedience. Yet, God’s forever-intent of being with his people would not be thwarted. In the same breath that God pronounced punishment and separation for sin, he also spoke forgiveness and restoration: he promised to send his Son to right every wrong and restore their broken relationship. That promise echoes through every page of Scripture. Every story of a disobedient prophet saved by a fish, a murderous king forgiven and restored, a weary prophet given visions of a Savior, captive boys rescued out of the fiery furnace—every single story, poem, and promise points to the Christmas tale, of a God who wants to dwell with his people. This is the God who enters the fray with grace, willing to make bail again and again just to be WITH his people. He is the True Father who says, “I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel” (1 Kings 6:13). That is the Christmas promise, made good some two thousand years ago when all the stories found their fulfillment in the ONE Story, the Christmas story.
That first Christmas came without presents or merry-making or parties.
It came instead to a couple without honor, without means, and without circumstance. Christmas came in the form of a humble baby, born in a barn, filled with barn smells and sounds. And this humble entrance was intentional. The King of kings came into our muck, not to be lauded and served—which would have been right—but to serve and sacrifice, to give his rightful honor to a dishonorable people. He exchanged his perfections for our imperfections. He was hated so we might be loved. He did not consider his position as God “as something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing” in order to give us everything—himself (Phil 2:6). He did what only he could do, he “became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” He gave us his perfect life so we might count it as our own. He took upon himself the punishment that brought us peace. This is the Christmas story, the story of a God who would go to unimaginable lengths just to be with us.
This is the God of Christmas Past, told in the pages of his book.
And if you believe, this is not just any Christmas story, this is your Christmas story. The God of Christmas past is calling you to believe him. Believe that he wants to be with you. Though he may feel far off, let his story tell you otherwise. Hear him calling to you this Christmas to be with him. Now is the time to believe. Now is the time to embrace him. Come back, wandering child. Your Father is waiting for you.
What is holding you back from believing that God wants to be with you? Whatever it is, God wants you to be free. There is no sin too big, no wandering too far, no secret he doesn't already seen. Run to your good Father and he will run to you.
Thanks for reading,
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Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!
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