This month’s Pastor’s Perspective is delivered by Dr. Teman Knight of Heritage Baptist Church Montgomery
The last two years have been very difficult for us all. The pandemic has led to heath issues, loss of loved ones, grief, isolation, depression, and fatigue. The divisiveness, and even hostility, that we see in our society is heart breaking. If ever we needed a word of hope at Christmas, this is the year that it is desperately needed. But then again, the darkness of our world has always needed the hope that only the Light of Christmas can bring.
In a dream, an angel of the Lord tells Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. The child she is carrying is from the Holy Spirit—a special child miraculously conceived–the Son of God. The angel added,
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).”Matthew 1:21-23
With all that we have been through lately, we need to hear that Christmas means that God is with us, and God is for us. Jesus came to save his people from their sins. The biggest problem we have is not a virus or even injustice. It is sin. Only in Jesus can we receive forgiveness of our sin and be made right with God.
Christmas is when God showed us that he loved us despite our rebellion.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8
He died not only for us to find forgiveness, but for us to become part of his family.
“As the Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.”C.S. Lewis s Mere Christianity
As part of his family, God is for us. Because God is for us, he can overcome whatever we are personally dealing with in this time of darkness.
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all.”Romans 8:31-32
The good news of Christmas is that not only is God for us, but God is also with us. Immanuel means God is with us (Isaiah 7:14). With us… what comforting words in the midst of the difficult times in which we are living. We are not alone. Whatever we face in this life, God is there with us. When we are locked down in quarantine, God is with us. When we are grieving the loss of a loved one, God is with us. When we are longing for social righteousness, God is with us. When we are praying for unity and peace in our country, God is with us. When we are waiting for economic relief, God is with us.
When we are rejoicing in new opportunities, God is with us. When we are celebrating renewed friendships, God is with us.
The beauty of the Christian life is that no matter what is going on you are not alone. God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, is with you. You don’t have to face troubles by yourself because nothing in this world can separate you from God and His love for you. As Romans 8:38-39 says,
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Let the truth of God’s presence with you light the darkness of your world this Christmas.