“O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. Isaiah 64:1-4
How often have we, like the Prophet Isaiah, wished fervently that God would tear open the heavens and come down and clean up this mess? The times we live in seem filled with disaster, violence, and corruption, no matter which direction we turn. So many of our world’s leaders seem to have abused their power by taking advantage of those vulnerable to them, evil dictators seem bent on annihilating those around them through nuclear
power, conscienceless people are doing whatever they can to destroy innocent human lives, and it seems impossible to turn on the news without another act of violence capturing our attention. What can we do? If only God would come down and rescue!
But there is good news! God did tear open the heavens and come down. We called Him, Jesus, a name that means, literally, “God Saves.” They also called Him, “Immanuel,” which means, “God With Us.” In a period of human existence that was filled with abject poverty for most people, when human rights and dignity was only for the rich, and when any act of disobedience to civil authorities carried with it an immediate death sentence, God came down to be with us. To save us. We called Him Jesus.
When human life seemed the worst it could get, Jesus was born into our world. And the way He healed us, the way He taught us, and especially the way He lovingly took
upon Himself our sins, gave us hope, and still today, gives us hope.
The true story of Christmas has so much less to do with decorating Christmas trees, buying presents, preparing feasts, or even (gasp) Santa Claus, than it does with the reality of our God who kept His promise and sent His Son, Jesus, into our world to bail us out of trouble and give us the hope of a future surrounded by the love of God, in an eternal Kingdom devoid of corruption and violence. That first Christmas, God sent His Son to right the world. We still call Him, Jesus!
May you turn your heart to God’s Son this Christmas and discover the love of God.
~Blessings, Rev. Kenneth Baker