This week my wife shared a devotional with our church for Christmas Eve. So, instead of writing my own blog today, I decided to share hers.
Matthew 28:18-20 (TLB) He (Jesus) told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of this—that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”
Have you ever felt completely alone?
Whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, it is highly likely that, immediately upon reading that question, you were able think of a time of profound loneliness. I cannot think of a more depleting and unsettling feeling than being completely alone.
I think that’s why my favorite name for Jesus is Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Don’t get me wrong, I love that He is all that He is: Prince of Peace; King of Kings; Good Shepherd; Great Physician; our Healer; our Savior; and so many more.
But to know that God is with us is a comfort beyond simply knowing in our minds all the wonderful things that He is: it is a “with-ness” that can only be truly known in the experiencing of it. You know when you’re alone. And you know when you are no longer alone.
The deep healing that happened when Jesus came—when he limited Himself to be born fully human, live a perfect life, and die in our place and for our sins—is that our relationship with God can be restored. We need never be alone. And in fact, we are never alone.
This time of year, we spend a lot of time thinking about Jesus as a baby and I think there’s a lot to ponder and appreciate there. But as we celebrate our Savior’s birth in the quiet and the stillness of this Christmas Eve, maybe we can open our hearts and minds to treasure and contemplate the gift that is not only a baby in a manger on that first Christmas, but extends to us here and now and forevermore: WE ARE NEVER ALONE.