Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Friday, December 12, 2008
Anna is one of the most excitable people I’ve ever known. Tell her she’s going to the zoo or going to get ice cream or going to Wal-Mart to get new socks and she lights up like a Christmas tree, exponentially increasing in volume. Sometimes she bounces off the walls with such pure joy that it can be exhausting to be a spectator. Sometimes she flits around the house, jumping off of the furniture and dancing with wild abandon and then sometimes she gets shy and won’t really move. Sometimes she laughs out loud like it’s going out of style and then sometimes she won’t even make eye contact. So, what’s the story? Why does she go from totally hesitant to complete dare devil? Why does she fluctuate from boisterous to bottled-up… from fearless to fear-filled?
Well, It’s simple really. When we’re with her, she’s fearless. When we’re not, she’s not. If Christy and I are there to catch her, she’ll jump with all of her might into the air from the fourth step up. If our arms are outstretched, she’ll leap off the edge of the pool every time. If we are breaking it down to her favorite Beatles song, she’ll dance like John Travolta, laughing hysterically! But if we’re not around… if we’re not with her, she’s not jumping, not diving and definitely not dancing. In order for her to cut loose and be free and full of life she only needs one thing: she needs us with her. If we’re with her, she’s good to go.
This attitude of Anna’s is really a very Christmas-y one to have. After all, Christmas is all about God coming to be with us… it’s the reminder that we could never be who were made to be without Him. After Matthew tells us about Jesus’ birth he says, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” which means, “God with us.” Jesus was born… God was here, on this earth.
It struck me this week that although the birth of Jesus fulfilled what Isaiah predicted, it wasn’t totally fulfilled until after Jesus’ death and resurrection. I mean, when Jesus was born, God was on earth, with a body and a voice and an address, but He wasn’t with everyone at all times. One time Mary and Joseph accidentally left the teenage Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem and panicked when they realized that He wasn’t with them. When Lazarus was dying in Bethany, Jesus wasn’t with Him, and He was glad He wasn’t with Him so that His disciples would believe. When Joseph of Arimathea laid Jesus’ body in a tomb and sealed it with a stone on a Friday night, Jesus wasn’t with anyone. He was dead and gone… but then Sunday came, and He arose.
2,700 years ago the prophet Isaiah made a prediction that a virgin would give birth to a Son who would be called, “God with us.” 700 years later a virgin named Mary did give birth to a Son. 33 years after that He died on a cross, and three days later He rose form the dead. Now He is alive forever and is really ‘God with us.’ Because He died and rose again, He can be with everyone who wants Him all the time. He can come all the way down inside our hearts to be with us… making us free, making us strong and giving us everything we need to make it through this life. Don’t you need Him? Don’t you want Him with you always? He wants to come in and be Immanuel… God with you.