Recently, I was driving home with Maverick City’s Christmas album on LOUD. Yes, it was November. Yes, I was listening to Christmas music. No, I’m not sorry. Go ahead and listen to that album and then tell me it should be tucked away for eleven months of the year. I dare ya.
As I was driving, I had this odd thought. A really specific line popped into my head, completely out of nowhere, it was this- ‘on the 26th of December, Jesus will still be here’.
And at first, I was like- Duhhh.
But then I couldn’t stop thinking about it, that thought became more and more profound the longer I drove and by the time I got home, I fully got it- Christmas happened, and it’s still happening. Jesus’ arrival changed things and is still changing things.
2000 years after the first Christmas took place, he’s still here. Always, un-waveringly, here.
He came, and he never left.
Tucked into the story of Jesus’ birth is a little detail, one that has been changing the world ever since. That detail is his name. In the very first chapter of Matthew (one of the Bible books about Jesus’ life) he writes that ‘they will call him (that’s Jesus) Immanuel (which means “God with us”)’.
Jesus is given a special name, a name that will sum up everything about him, everything about Christmas, everything about why it still matters. That name is- ‘I’m right here with you’.
His name is quite literally:
‘I’m not going anywhere’
‘I’m closer than you realise’
‘we’ll face this together’
How huge is that?! The author himself jumped onto the page, he moved into the neighbourhood, he pitched his tent right next to ours. Jesus is God-With-Us, with no exceptions.
So, that’s in the very first chapter of Matthew, now jump with me to the very last line of the very last chapter of the book. Jesus has something pretty huge to say there: ‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’.
You see what Jesus is saying?! He’s basically saying- ‘Hey, remember my name’. The book begins and ends with Jesus being Immanuel, our God-With-Us. Matthew clearly wanted us to know that It’s who he was then, and it’s still who he is now.
This Christmas, we want you to know that Jesus is still who he promised to be. He’s still right here with you- yes, I mean YOU. Right now, even as you read these words. In your mighty moments and your quiet ones. On your best days and your worst. When you’re alone and when you’re in a crowd of thousands. He’s there.
You will forever have his company.
And that means SO much, way more than I could ever fit into this post. It means that there’s not one problem that you’ll ever have to figure out on your own, there’s not one moment that you have to fend for yourself, not one day that he’s not cheering you on.
Christmas may only be celebrated one day a year, but it’s a 365-day reality.
On the 26th of December, he’ll still be here.
In 1000 years, he’ll still be here.
Christmas mattered yesterday, it matters today, and it will matter forever. Why? Because Jesus was God-With-Us yesterday, today, and forever.