Three months from today. Thirteen weeks. Twelve weekends. Ninety-one days. And then it will be over.
Yes, Christmas is coming. And that statement will either cause you to roll your eyes, panic, or smile, depending on your age, your perspective, and your schedule.
Remember when we were kids and it felt like Christmas would never arrive? Now we blink and it comes and goes.
Perhaps I’m thinking about Christmas because I recently finished teaching about the birth of Jesus from Matthew 1 in a Bible study class. Or maybe it’s because two friends already have their tree up – one keeps it decorated in the living room year-round, the other put his tree up last week. Perhaps it’s due to having attended the Hallmark card store summer Christmas Open House. It could also be because the Hallmark television channel has announced their Countdown to Christmas movie schedule will begin November 2.
Some of you want to quit reading now, if you haven’t already! You’re thinking that you have to get through Halloween and Thanksgiving before you can even think about Christmas. Or you’re wondering if this will finally be the year that you get your Christmas shopping done before December 24.
Stop. Take a deep breath.
For the next five minutes, don’t think about the decorations, or the shopping, or the cooking. Don’t thing about the financial pressures, or the unrealistic expectations, or the overbooked calendar.
For the next five minutes, think about Immanuel, God with us. Dwell on the truth that by the power of the Holy Spirit, God the Father sent His Son to become our Savior. I love how Charles Spurgeon described it:
“In sacred worship at the tabernacle and the temple, the thought of distance to God was always prominent….in the innermost place, the Holy of Holies, only the high priest entered and just once a year….When the gospel came, we were placed on quite another footing….Distance gave way to closeness….Incarnate Deity has no wall of fire around it.”
All because of the birth of Jesus – Immanuel, God with us. And He is Immanuel all year long, not just in December. So whether it’s January 25, July 25, September 25, or December 25, remember what God has done for us.
When we recall the precious salvation purchased by Immanuel, every day becomes a Merry Christmas!