A dad was trying to get his daughter to sleep in her own bed But she kept sneaking back into her parent’s bedroom. After about the third trip the dad said, “Honey, don’t be afraid. Jesus is right here with you. She replied, “I know daddy, but tonight I need someone with skin on.”
We all need someone with skin on. And that’s what Jesus did. The bible says in John 1 that in the beginning was the word, that’s Jesus. And the word was with God and the word was God. Then it says in verse 14, “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory.”
God wore skin . Isn’t that an amazing idea! Jesus became a man. The old Hebrew word is “Immanuel.” God with us.
God came, Immanuel. God is with us because he desires a relationship. Jesus Christ wants to relate to you. God is with you. You no longer have to be alone.
Such good news. There is so much longing and loneliness in our world. In this day and age of social media and instant messaging , with facetime, skype, and snapchat, you would think that loneliness would be alleviated. However, people are so alone.
And Christmas can be the most painful time. Loss and sadness can be magnified.
Erma Bombeck writes with such honesty about how it felt when she and her husband faced their first Christmas without the kids.
Everything is in readiness
The tree is trimmed. The cards taped to the door frame. The boxes stacked in glittering disarray under the tree? Why don’t I hear chimes?
Remember the small boy who made the chimes ring in a fictional story years ago? As the legend went, the chimes would not ring unless a gift of love was placed on the altar. Kings and men of great wealth placed untold jewels there, but year after year the church remained silent.
Then one Christmas Eve, a small child in a tattered coat made his way down the aisle, and without anyone noticing he took off his coat and placed it on the alter. The chimes rang out joyously throughout the land to mark the unselfish giving of a small boy.
I used to hear chimes.
I heard them the year one of my sons gave me a tattered piece of construction paper on which he had crayoned two hands folded in prayer and a moving message, OH COME HOLY SPIT!
I heard them the year I got a shoebox that contained two baseball cards and the gum was still with them.
I heard them the Christmas they all got together and cleaned the garage.
They’re gone, aren’t they? The years of the lace doilies fashioned into snowflakes … the hands traced in plaster of Paris … the Christmas trees of pipe cleaners … the thread spools that held small candles. They’re gone.
The chubby hands that clumsily used up $2 worth of paper to wrap a cork coaster are sophisticated enough to take a number and have the gift wrapped professionally.
The childish decision of when to break the ceramic piggy bank with a hammer to spring the 59 cents is now resolved by a credit card.
The muted thump of pajama-covered feet padding down the stairs to tuck her homemade crumb scrapers beneath the tree has given way to pantyhose and fashion boots to the knee.
It’ll be a good Christmas. We’ll eat too much. Make a mess in the living room. Throw the warranties into the fire by mistake. Drive the dog crazy taping bows to his tail. Return cookies to the plate with a bite out of them. Listen to Christmas music.
But Lord … what I would give to bend low and receive a gift of toothpicks and library paste and hear the chimes just one more time!
Some of you are there. Christmas in the empty nest can get pretty lonesome. Others face Christmas without a mate. Life without friends.
Mother Teresa once said, “We have drugs for people with diseases like leprosy. But these drugs do not treat the main problem, the disease of being unwanted. . .Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”
You don’t even have to be alone to be lonesome. Some of the loneliest moments of my life were in large crowds of people.
And so we need to hear the message of Immanuel. You don’t have to be lonely. God desires a relationship. He can come and take away the longing and the emptiness. He can treat your loneliness. God desires a relationship. God with us.
Not based on your performance.
On his grace.