God is all about relationship. He created man for a unique and special relationship. From the earliest days of creation, God walked with man in intimacy. Genesis 3:8 tells us that God enjoyed daily fellowship with Adam and Eve. The second greatest tragedy of their sin was broken fellowship with God. Their sin meant that God could no longer be with them in that intimate way.
Though man continued to live in sin and push farther and farther away from Him, God still desired that communion, so much so that He commanded the Israelites “Have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them” (Ex. 25:8). Once again, God drew close to His people, dwelling in their midst. But, once again, because of sin and rebellion, God had to distance Himself from His creation. Ezekiel 10 tells the sad story of the Glory of the Lord departing the Temple. But all was not lost forever. Decades before, God had promised to make a way that His people could still dwell with Him despite their fallen state.
God who is forever faithful fulfilled His promise, and the Hope of Christmas was born. John 1:14 says “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” God came once again to live among His creation, this time as a flesh and blood man – Jesus. He came as a baby, born as any other man, yet born with the divine nature of God. He came to walk among us, to eat with us, and to touch His creation with the literal fingers of God. And He came to die for us, to forever bridge the gap between God and man. He came to restore the relationship that sin had broken, He came to be Immanuel – God with us – forever.
Holy Father, the lights and carols and tinsel of Christmas are beautiful, but the true wonder of Christmas is Your presence among us, as a baby, as a man, as our Savior. My hope is in your promise to be “God with me.” Amen