Leaving Jesus

There true meaning of #Christmas.  God with us.  Past . Present. Future. http://wp.me/p2UZoK-Ed via @blestbutstrestAt one point during the Christmas program, Mary and Joseph hopped up and joined the other students at the edge of the stage to sing. ‘Mary’ left ‘Baby Jesus’ on the bench, where she had kept him propped between her and ‘Joseph’ during the visits from the shepherds and the wise men.

I snapped a photo than quickly switched to video to record the beautiful gift of song. Later, as I went through the photos, I thought about Baby Jesus and all the attention he gets during Advent and Christmas. How we struggle as Christians and parents to keep ‘Christ in Christmas’ and teach our children that the true gift comes from God giving his only Son to live among us and save us from our sins.

But I wonder, how many of us leave the Baby Jesus on the bench when we hop up to sing and celebrate? Do we forget that his name, Immanuel,’ means ‘God with us?’ His advent means that he has come to live among us—to be with us at all times, to help us in each and every trial; to celebrate and sing with us; to hold our hand and whisper words of comfort in our ears.

He didn’t just come as a baby and live a forgotten life. He came as a baby, grew as a child, worked as an adult and prepared for his ministry until his thirties. And then, only then, did he make his purpose known—when the time was right.

Sometimes, we grow impatient with the waiting, with wondering when our purpose in life will make itself known. We wonder and worry. But we shouldn’t. God IS with us. We have to make a conscious effort to make sure WE stay with Him. And the closer we draw to him, the more we understand that Christmas isn’t just about the first Advent.

Once we know the Way, he brings light into our whole lives—not just our December-let’s-get-ready-for-Christmas lives. He brings the light of love and forgiveness into our past (no matter how ashamed of it we may be). He shines his light into our now and promises to guide us and lead us. He shines the light of love into our future. In a world sunken in sin, despair, depravity and violence, he shines his promise like the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.

He tells us in John 14:3 “ And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” He came once. He left the Holy Spirit to help us in the now. We have the hope of the Second Advent and heaven for the future.

And that, my friend, is the true meaning of Christmas! Past. Present. Future. God with us. Immanuel. (tweet this)

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • In the past I have definitely left Jesus in the stable. I wasn’t talking to Him throughout the day, searching His Word, or thanking Him like I should. There is definitely a difference now! Merry Christmas Anita!
    Sarah Donegan recently posted…Ponder the Right WayMy Profile

    • What a difference it makes when we don’t leave him! Blessings to you and yours on this day we celebrate his birth and commit to carrying him with us throughout the year.

  • Don

    “God giving his only Son to live among us and save us for our sins.” Hummm. To save us for our sins?? Because of our sin, perhaps? Where’s Miss Grammerly when we need her?

    However, being your earthly father, I know what you really mean.

    • Good thing! This is what happens whilst writing in a crowded house ;). Thank you for letting me know!

  • A great warning and encouragement to guard our hearts! We are forgetful people and need FREQUENT reminders of the POWER of baby Jesus! Yeah-not just “get ready for Christmas!” NO! December-should-remind-us-Christmas-brought-an-Atoning-Sacrifice-to-save-us-for-the-rest-of-our-lives!! 😉 Good stuff!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Christy! There’s a reason God keeps calling us ‘sheep’ in the Bible ;).

  • Beautiful Anita! Emmanuel, God with us, means not just for one amazing birth but for always. May we celebrate today the joy and hope of God’s presence in our lives as His gift to us. Blessings for a New Year of hope and joy!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Dear GriefMy Profile

    • Amen! And thank you for stopping by :). May your new year be filled with his presence.

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  • Years ago I did, but now, thank You Lord, He goes with me every step of the way!!! Wonderful after-Christmas post! xo
    Susan Shipe recently posted…the 27th day of christmasMy Profile

    • I’m so glad, Susan! What a difference it makes in our daily lives when we walk with Jesus!

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  • Such a good reminder, Anita. So good. Thank you.
    Jennifer Lee recently posted…How to End the Bluest Blue Christmas This Year (We Need You!)My Profile

    • Thank you for stopping by, Jennifer :). I love your link up–thank you for hosting it and for all your beautiful words.