Christmas is over. The tree is probably down (not mine), and once again, you’ve stored the decorations in the attic or the basement or a closet.
But Christmas is NOT over.
It’s never over. God came down to be with us. That’s why we celebrate Christmas. He told the woman who gave birth to His incarnate form to call Him Jesus. Or Emmanuel—God with us. Many churches celebrate this event every week by singing the “Magnificat,” Mary’s response to the angel’s appearance in her life.
Jesus lived with or near His mother until it was time for Him to preach the Good News of a New Covenant, to show Messiah had come to save the people from their sins. He promised the presence of the Holy Spirit to remain with them after He rose from the dead.
This is what Christians believe: God is with us.
If you grew up in a Christian home, you have believed in Jesus from the moment you could grasp the concept of God with us. The average age for kids to ask Jesus into their hearts is seven. They have grown beyond hearing the prayers of their parents to a recognition of who Jesus is, and they want to somehow connect with Jesus themselves.
As they mature, teens and tweens begin to question if their parents are right. Does Jesus really exist? Does the church speak the truth?
I was twelve when I began to ponder those questions in my heart, and I was blessed with a dad who would honestly answer my questions of doubt and with a Sunday School teacher who challenged me to search out scriptures for myself.
“You must decide,” he said. “Is God real? Can Jesus save your soul?”
Mary, the mother of Jesus pondered things in her heart, too. (Luke 2:16-18) She heard the shepherds’ praises and watched their excitement. She gazed at the newborn infant in her arms and remembered what the angel had told her. She took Jesus to the temple on the eighth day after His birth and observed Anna’s and Simeon’s reactions. She pondered on those experiences but didn’t speak of them, and treasured them in her heart. Surely, she must have pondered the unforgettable event when wealthy magi visited her home to worship her Son. Shortly after that, her husband whisked her off to Egypt.
When the Crucifixion came to pass, perhaps Mary was the only human who was not surprised. All those treasures in her heart didn’t soften the agony as she watched her Son die, but I believe she still had peace in the midst of anguish because she knew that single day in history was the purpose for His arrival on earth, and the angel’s words were fulfilled.
What have you been pondering in your heart?
Has the Holy Spirit spoken to you—a promise? A warning? Comfort? Encouragement?
Every once in a while, there are times when I know the Spirit has spoken to me. I have heard specific commands, words of sympathy, and invitations to rest against Him where He will hold me safe. I have heard whispered promises. And when I say, “heard,” I mean the Lord’s thoughts enter my mind. Only once have my physical ears heard His voice.
I have pondered His words in my heart. I’ve experienced His comfort and peace, His love, and His words of motivation. I’ve seen some of His promises to me fulfilled while I trust Him to keep His Word for other situations.
Has God ever spoken to you where you knew it was Him and you thought long and hard on what He said? If you feel comfortable sharing your story, please do. Right here! When we tell others what Jesus has done for us, everyone who is listening—or reading—is uplifted in spirit, too!
I was going through a difficult time where I wondered if I was even saved. One day while driving, I thought to myself, “I can’t feel his presence anymore.” But God said so clear to me, “I’m always here!” WOW. That was a turning point in my relationship and view of Him. I was so stuck in a religious paradigm of earning his love and presence, but no, He’s always with me no matter what I do. And he wasn’t basing our relationship on my “performance.”
And I’ll bet when you think back on that moment you can still FEEL it! God’s reassurance is so powerful. Thank you for sharing.