I remember getting ready for our first child. We are bound and determined to have the perfect nursery. We changed the wall paper, we got what we felt was the best crib and changing table. We bought toys that in reality he was not going to play with for at least six months. We were ready.
But if you think about the preparation that Mary and Joseph did for Jesus…..well we might not approve by any day’s standards. When you look at the nativity scene you see that Jesus’ crib is a feeding trough for animals. Was that the best they could do for their son to lay him in a feeding trough inside a stable? If it was me I think I would be trembling in fear at the thought…..
Actually, that’s what I think a lot of people do at Christmas time. They tremble in fear over problems in their lives: serious health problems, bills they can’t pay, jobs they’ve lost, marriages that have crumbled, or loved ones who are no longer here. Sadly, many people may believe that these bad things happen because they are bad people, or because they have done something wrong.
Because Jesus came into this world, we have been given new life. Jesus is holy and pure, and He gives us His holy and perfect life as though it were our own. He took our sin upon Himself and suffered the punishment we deserve. Because of His great exchange we can stand pure and holy before God the Father by faith, clothed in Christ’s holiness and righteousness.
The prophet Isaiah tells us that Jesus shall be called Immanuel. That means God with us. This reassures us that no matter what our problems may be this Christmas, God is right here with us just as he was with Mary and Joseph. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. He will deliver us from all our problems too.
THE PRAYER: Almighty God, thank you for noticing our fear and anxiety. Thank you for comforting and reassuring us. Remind us that you are Immanuel and that we may know You are an ever- present help in trouble, until the day You bring us to Your eternal rest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.