December 22 I Sunday
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” —Isaiah 7:14
Why is understanding Christmas absolutely crucial to our well-being? Because every life form has a governing force that enables them to function. For example, plant life is governed by seasons as Genesis 8:22 says, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” A grain of wheat may lie dormant on the ground during the winter but when spring comes, it will begin to sprout. Then in the fall, if the grain has not been reaped, it will harden and fall to the ground lying dormant all winter until spring comes again.
Animal life, however, is governed by instinct. Proverbs 6:6-8 tells us, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” If we were to kick an anthill with a boot, we can see the incredible efficiency they go to to repair the damage. How do they operate so efficiently? These ants did not go to “Ant School” to learn their trade; they are controlled by something like a little computer chip inside their brain––instinct.
As human beings, we have instincts too but we are not created to be governed by instinct. We were created to be governed by the presence of God in our lives, who gives us purpose, direction and power. We were made to be the dwelling place of God’s Spirit but we lost His presence within our lives. When we are born, we are separated from the life of God and as a result, we do not know how to behave.
What would happen if plants lost their seasons? They would die because they would be unable to continue their cycle of life. What would happen if an ant lost its instinct? It would not know what to do. Now, what would happen if human beings lost God? Just watch the news and we will see exactly what happens when human beings lose God. We lie, fight, cheat and steal. We find ourselves in a world constantly at war in some place or another, and despite our best ability to solve the crises of the world, we do not have the ability to behave as we should.
This is why understanding Christmas is absolutely crucial to our well-being. Joseph was told by the
angel Gabriel to call Jesus “Emmanuel,” meaning “God with us,” at His birth because the purpose of Jesus’s birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension was to make it possible for the presence of God to be restored into the human experience.
Prayer: Emmanuel, thank You for coming into this world to restore the presence of God in my life. You are the governing force of my life, help me to walk righteously in Your sight.