To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world. — Calvin Coolidge, Presidential message (December 25, 1927)
The Christmas story begins with the message, the message from the angel Gabriel to a young girl with nothing to give except her faith in her body in obedience to the promise of hope of Emmanuel: God with us.
“Greetings, you who are highly favored, the Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28)
Not only was the Lord with her, but the Lord was in her. For nine months she held Him in her womb, then fed Him, clothed Him, and held Him by the hand as He began to walk alone and fulfill the destiny given to Him by His Father. Thirty-three years later, she had to say good-bye to Him, twice. The first time, she knelt beneath His feet on soil saturated with the blood that He was shedding for the sins of you and me. The second time she watched as His glorified, resurrected body ascended into the sky leaving her, and us, with a mission and with the same promise that Gabriel had proclaimed to her so many years before.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
You are highly favored. The Lord is with you. Jesus will be with you always. That’s the beginning and the end of the story—the promise of His presence with and in those who open their hearts to Him.
Now, go tell it on the mountain!
Jesus, deep in my soul today, I thank you for Your incredible promise to be with me and in me today and to the end of the age. Thank you for the tears and sweat and blood that You shed to bring us to this incredible celebration of what You have done and are doing through us. Set my heart free to worship You for these indescribable gifts and use me in any way You choose to share this love with others. Amen.
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