In a matter of days we’ll have made it to Christmas Day and I’m sure for many of us it will feel like the chance to finally breath a deep sigh of relief. Life can get on top of us with work, family, friends, bills to pay, recreation, maintenance tasks and the list goes on. Then you add Christmas parties, holiday planning and buying Christmas presents and it all gets a bit silly.
But I want to suggest that often under the surface of our busy-ness there can be fears driving us that we are not even aware of. Financial fears, work security fears, fears about our kids, fears about our significance or acceptance.
On one level, Christmas and the time off it affords to many of us, brings a bit of a reprieve from those fears. And of course we need rest and often we will return to the normal routine of life refreshed and with renewed vision. But on the other hand, when we come back, many of the same old fears will be present.
I want to propose that the Christmas message actually offers a solution to these fears at a deep level. The central message of Christmas is that in the birth of Jesus – Immanuel – God is with us (Matthew 1:23). If we truly believe that message, that God is with us, in the birth of Jesus, in the death of Jesus and then the ultimate sending of God’s Spirit to us by Jesus, then we have nothing to fear.
This year at MAKE, at our Christmas Day Service, we’ll be thinking a little bit more about how God being with us remedies our fears. It will be a short, family friendly service, less than an hour – we’d love to see you there.