For many of us the Christmas season is anything but a spiritual time. It is a time packed with activities, cultural pressure, financial anxiety, and family dysfunction.

But at its core, Christmas is a deeply spiritual story.

Christmas is not just a story about people reaching up and connecting with God.

Christmas is the story of the God who came down to connect with people.

The author John put it rather poetically,

The Word was God.

The Word came to dwell among us.

It is an astonishing claim, God took making connection with us upon Himself. God Came to Us!

The author Matthew gave the Christmas baby two names.

The first, Jesus, was fairly common in his day. It means, “God Saves.

People believed that God was the hope to rescue them.

The second name was unheard of, Emanuel. That name means “God with Us.”

It is one thing to have the belief that God can, and will, save us.

It is another thing to believe that God is with us

Here in our midst.

Real world

Real life.

Christmas is a story of the God who came to dwell with people.

While many people forgot about God,

Others turned against God,

Still others strive to connect with God,

Christmas is the story of the God who came down with us.

God gave us Himself at Christmas.

God gave us more than a religious gift or a theological gift.

God gave us a relational gift.

Matthew who began the story identifying Emmanuel, also ended the story with the promise of presence.

“Surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

For Matthew, the story is all about the God who is with people.

Today the story of Jesus is still the story Emmanuel, God with us.

Even in the midst of the Christmas season.

How will you more fully realize the presence of God this Christmas?