Why is there a Christmas?
I believe there’s a Christmas because “God’s faithful love endures forever!”
That’s a phrase that appears over and over in the Old Testament (mainly in the Psalms). It includes the Hebrew word, hesed (appears 248 times in the Old Testament), which describes God’s faithful love, loyalty, and devotion.
God’s faithful love eventually led God to sending his Son into the world.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. (John 3.16, CEB)
One of the greatest promises of Christmas is that God is with us. In fact, God is always with us, fighting for us!
In Matthew’s gospel, after the report of Joseph’s dream about Mary’s pregnancy, we’re told …
Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled: Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, And they will call him, Emmanuel. (Emmanuel means ‘God with us.’) (Matthew 1.22-23, CEB)
God is with us!
We don’t know much about the early years of Jesus’ life, but I imagine they were not the easiest years. Little did Mary and Joseph know what they were signing up for when they agreed to follow God’s plan for their lives.
On the night that Jesus was born, the angels proclaimed a revolutionary message …
Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2.10-11, CEB)
“Good news” was used in connection with Herod as well as the titles, “Savior” and “Lord,” particularly in celebration of his birthday. Then, the birth of a new, true king was announced!
Life wouldn’t get any easier. After giving birth to Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus find themselves running for their lives. They lived in Egypt while waiting for the threat on Jesus’ life to die down.
God had to literally fight for us by fighting to keep Jesus’ safe. God will do all he can to rescue us. Peter writes, God doesn’t want, “anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives” (2 Peter 3.9, CEB).
God is always with us, fighting for us!
I love Psalm 23, especially the last verse …
Yes, goodness and faithful love [hesed] will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live. (CEB)
God’s faithful love doesn’t just “follow us” (as older translations put it), but “pursues us”! God is always with us, fighting for us!
I’ve always loved the way Max Lucado describes God’s love …
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. And the Christmas gift he sent you in Bethlehem? Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you.
God’s faithful love endures forever. It’s what is behind God’s desire to be with us and to fight for us. This Christmas, I’m reminded God is always with us, fighting for us!