christmas is in us, right now!
THE WORD BECAME FLESH AND MADE HIS DWELLING AMONG US.
Christmas is coming! Christmas already came! Christmas is here right now!
If you were here last week, you know that we’re looking at Christmas from three different perspectives—past, present, and future. Just like Ebeneezer Scrooge was visited by the three ghosts of Christmas, we are being “visited” by the God of Christmas Past, Present, and Future (all the same God ;). Last week, we saw the unthwarted purposes of the God of Christmas Past who “put on flesh and made his dwelling among us,” lived the life we couldn’t, and died the death we should’ve so that we could be with him forever. Amen??? AMEN and HALLELUJAH!!! Today, the God of Christmas Present (not presents ;) will speak a word of an even better, daily Christmas reality for all his followers. He is the God of RIGHT NOW! He’s the True Christmas Spirit, who dwells in us. And he’s here, even now, to wake us from our slumber with a true vision of wonderment, too marvelous to fully understand—one that, I pray, will encourage our hearts and inspire our worship.
Christmas is IN us. Every. Single. Day.
Last week, we looked at how Christmas is the celebration of God WITH us. Please let this sink in: GOD WANTS TO BE WITH YOU. This is the fantastic mystery of Christmastime: God, THE God of everything, who made everything and upholds everything, he has also done everything to be with you. He’s gone to radical, unbelievable lengths to spend time with you, because, truth is, he’s totally “into” you. But, as we’ll find out today, he isn’t just “into” you, he is literally “in” you. I’m not being sentimental here, and I don’t mean it figuratively. I mean God so intimately cares for you that he “dwells with” you all the time, and this dwelling isn’t merely external, it’s internal. God dwells IN you, or to say it another way, God indwells you. This is your “right now” Christmas reality and the best Christmas present: God is IN you.
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.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
The God of Christmas Present is always PRESENT.
This means that you are not alone this Christmas… not on Christmas or any other day. You are never alone. You are never without hope or without God in the world. The God of Christmas Past didn’t abandon us when he rose to heaven. He sent his own Spirit—the Holy Spirit—to cheer and to guide us, to uphold and protect us, to convict and embolden us, to be WITH us. And do you know what Jesus says about all of this? Let this blow your mind: He says, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7, ESV). Did you hear that? Jesus said the Holy Spirit in us is BETTER than having Jesus on earth with us. So, if Christmas is God WITH us, and if God IN us is better than God with us, then our daily experience is a “better Christmas.” This is the True Spirit of Christmas: the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
We can share the Christmas Spirit with others.
Jesus who put on flesh, who dwelt with us, whose Spirit dwells in us, has given us a calling: BE PRESENT. He says, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). He is saying to you and me right now, “As I have done for you, you go and do likewise. Be incarnational, dwell with others as I have dwelt with you. My incarnational ministry is now yours.” We can and should be people who dwell with other people. We are called to be a shoulder, to be hands, to be an ear. We are called to let the True Spirit of Christmas shine in us as we dwell with other people, calling them to the One who loves them and wants more than anything to give his Christmas presence to them.
But Christmas can be lonely.
For so many of us, Christmas is a season of reminders. And those reminders often come in the form of empty chairs at the table, lonely places longing to be filled in our hearts. This is where the Spirit of Christmas can warm our hearts and the hearts of our loved ones. We are a people who long to be WITH others. We were made for it. And when we step into those lonely places and allow others to do the same—when we dwell with one another because God “dwells among us”—we speak and live out a deeper truth. We say, “You are wanted, you are seen, you are loved not just by me, but by God.” We create warm spaces to experience the God who loves each one of us. And if you feel all alone, if Christmas is hard for you, hear this: YOU are loved and wanted and seen. I wish I could come home with you and tell you to your face. O hear it! We all long for companionship and home. And we can find it at Christmas, we can give it at Christmas. Christian, reach out to others if you are comfortable at home. And reach out for others if you are not! There is a place for you. I want to leave you with a song that challenges us to dwell with others in their loneliness, in our own loneliness, at Christmastime:
Call your grandma on the phone, if she's living all alone.
Tell her Jesus Christ is here. Tell her she has none to fear.
If she's crying on the phone, Tell her you are coming home, You are coming home, you are coming home.
(Sufjan Stevens, “Put the Lights on the Tree”)
Spend just a moment thanking God for “dwelling among you” now and always.
Who can you dwell with this Christmas?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
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!