The last two years has been a time of waiting, waiting for restrictions to ease, waiting till we can move about more, waiting until we can be with friends and family. It has been a time when we have realised how important it is to be ‘with’ people, to be physically in the presence of friends and family, to be able to hug the children and grandchildren.
To be ‘with’ someone indicates a relationship of some kind whether it is casual or more intimate. The Jews in ancient times were longing for God to be with them. They built a tent in the wilderness and the temple in Jerusalem to house the presence of God. Yet God was not confined to a building made by human hands. God chose to come and be ‘with’ the people, to be present with us.
God sent Jesus as ‘Immanuel’, which means, God with us! Jesus came to be ‘with’ us, to be in relationship, friendship, to experience what it means to be human, to reconnect us to the Father.
This is what Christmas is all about, a celebration of love. The love of Father God was seen, was present, was ‘with’ us, when Jesus was born on earth and the angels sang to announce his coming. What an amazing, wonderful event! The God of the universe came as a humble baby, totally dependent on Mary his mother, so that we can experience his love and compassion towards us.
As we celebrate this Christmas, ‘with’ friends and family, remember that Jesus came to be ‘with’ us.