The song “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” has been one of my favorite Christmas songs for some time. It is pretty, heard rarely, and has an incredible message. It’s typically sung earlier in the Christmas season, for the Advent focus. It invites Christ to come, to ransom Israel, His people. Emmanuel, meaning “God with us”, comes to Earth to save us. Ransom us. Redeem us. Live among us.
As I was thinking about the upcoming weeks, with preparations and endless concerts and parties, I realized that this Christmas will be much different for us as a family, being the first one in many years that I will not be working. While this is welcome and exciting, it also made me realize just how much I want God to show up and insert Himself into this season this year.
Every year, we celebrate the birth of Christ, or “God showing up” as the solution to the problem of sin. We prepare our homes to be pretty and festive, and attend concerts, plays, and candlelight services. We reach out to others and look for ways to help those in need. These are the reasons I love this season so much!
As I was thinking about the things coming up in the next few weeks and thinking about decorations and presents and other preparations, I thought about how preparing for Christmas this year, in the normal way, is preparing for God to show up in our home, family, and finances. Giving God this space of preparing our minds and hearts for His arrival this season takes on new meaning for me this year. This year, more than ever, I am recognizing my need for Him, for hope in this dark world, and I’m recognizing the need for Him of those around me (my kids, friends, family members). In celebrating “God showing up” as a baby two thousand years ago, we are preparing for God to show up again, to change the way we view this season and this priceless gift we were given.
In this season, are you just trying to make it through, going to bed exhausted nightly from preparations, decorating, and parties, or are you preparing for the God of the universe to show up? Create space in your heart and mind for God to do a miracle in and through you.