Tomorrow is the last day of school for the year for most. I wonder who is more excited — the students or the teachers? I have an idea. Eight more days and Christmas is here. Can’t wait.
When my sons were growing up, we had a calendar that counted down the days. Every morning they were allowed to move the mouse one more day. When we got to one, they knew that it was Christmas Eve. And still they could not wait.
I have said it here in this paper as well as in my church. I remain a big kid at heart. I love the season and all of its grandeur. I love the decorations, the music, the wrappings and ribbons and the food. I love it all. I agree with the song that says, “I wish it could be Christmas all year long.”
Except that would mean that it is not special. And let’s make this clear. Christmas is special. Think with me of the Old Testament passages that foretold Christmas. Isaiah said that a virgin would give birth. He said the child would be called Immanuel. He also wrote, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given … and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The prophet wrote these words almost 800 years before Jesus was born. Micah promised that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
Finally, in the pages of the New Testament, the promises came true. Matthew records that the angel told Joseph that the Lord’s names would be Immanuel, and he added that this name means, “God with us.”
Think about that. God with us. When life is at its best, and things are going as we would wish, God is with us. But it also means this. When the checking account is empty, and the job has been lost, God is with us. When cancer strikes, God is with us. When the death angel visits, God is with us.
It is sometimes hard to fathom, but it is always true. For those who know Jesus as Savior, God is with us. Always and at all times. God is with us. That is the message of Christmas. That is the message of the Gospel. God is with us. And nothing else matters.