- by Russell Croft
In the Beginning - was Christmas
It’s an amazing proposition isn’t it ? Immanuel – God with us. Lowly, insignificant people, being told the good news of Christmas by heavenly beings from on high. Shepherds and young virgins, among the most disregarded people of the day, receiving holy guests and being trusted with the most amazing message, that God truly is with us.
People through all of history have wondered and worried whether God was pleased enough with them to bless them with even a little of his presence. So it's no wonder that such a revolutionary message, delivered to those who most people had little time for, has such significant ramifications for the entire world. God revealing that he does indeed have time for all of mankind. Even more phenomenal is the concept that not only does God have time for us, he is WITH us, always!
An ancient story retold
But was this a new revelation or a re-revealing of an ancient truth? Colossians says that Immanuel created all things, that he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He has been active in his creation since the very first moment, holding it and all of us in it together.
Christmas is not God’s decision to be with us now that Jesus has been born, but it is the proof humanity needed that God has always been with us. Not just with the elect or the chosen few. All of us. We are all held together in him. We are all found in him.
Colossians goes on to say in chapter one that Jesus was well pleased to reconcile ALL things to himself. The writer then says that we were formerly enemies with God in our minds. God has always been with us, from the dawn of time. We just couldn’t believe it. Some of you may still not believe it.
Good news for all
That is why the Christmas message is still so amazing and important today. The separation from God that we have always felt is a concept so foreign to God that he did the impossible in order to convince us otherwise. He showed us how intrinsically united he is with his creation by becoming one of us. He became one of us to show us he is with all of us. In all of us. Holding us all together. No matter what our race, religion, status or orientation.
Mankind has spent the entirety of human history trying to do enough good to climb into heaven. But here at Christmas, in Jesus, God is declaring that dwelling within humanity is his idea of heaven. There is no where else he would rather be than here with us. With you. And this truly is good news!
Russell Croft has a heart for community and reaching out to the marginalised and forgotten. He is getting to know the God of infinite goodness and is living a joy-filled life with his wife Belinda and three children in South-East Queensland, Australia. See all previous articles by Russell Croft