Exodus 3:14- "God said to Moses, 'I am Who I Am'..."
John 6:20- "But [Jesus] said to them, 'It is I; do not be afraid.'"
It is almost Christmas! With midterms/finals, vacations, and families coming into town, it is really hard to relax and enjoy it all. It feels like the year goes by so slow, and then the whole month of December rushes by. With everything going on, we tend to forget why this season is even important. Being a Christian, you know that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus, but after awhile, the same stories and words become just that, only words. I find myself wanting to know more, not just the events surrounding that night, but why these events took place, and who Jesus really is. His story didn't end 2000 years ago. His sacrifice is the reason we can have life, and as I've gotten older, I've strived to know exactly who He is, to know why we celebrate His birth, and to make Christmas mean more to me than it ever has.
As I've read and picked out the countless names that are given to Jesus at His birth and through His life, there is one that covers all of it. In Exodus, God tells Moses that "He Is". When I first heard that, I didn't understand. What "is" He? I have grown to love this verse, because God did not need to say anything else. He Is. He is our redeemer, creator, healer, guide, teacher, and everything that we could ever need. He did not need to list all that He is, because He is all of it. He Is.
Books later in the Bible, we see the New Testament, when life was brought into a dead world. Jesus. Several times Jesus alludes to God's "I Am" statement, saying, "It is I". These verses directly correlate, and personally, I think it is amazing to see God's words line up so perfectly to His son's, even hundreds of years later. So why does this relate to Christmas, and why is this so important? That is what I have been asking myself all month, because it really is such a hard thing to grasp. To state it simply, 2000 years ago, ordinary people, living poor, humble lives, realized that a God (who created the entire universe, gave them life, and is everything they could ever need) had come for them. Jesus did not come to only save the wealthy, or only the royal. He came to disprove religion, to show that HE IS the lover of the most ordinary people. That, in itself, is a reason to celebrate Christmas.
For me, knowing that Jesus lived a life just like ours, full of temptation, and torment, and heartbreak, without a single flaw, or sin, is my biggest reason to celebrate. Romans 3:23-24 says, "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." All of us. Not a single person who has walked this Earth is clean, or worthy of the perfect life Jesus lived, yet He came. Yet He suffered. Yet He died. For what? You. I think sometimes we forget the true meaning behind Christmas. Yes, it is about His birth. But it is also about His redemption, and the hope that He gave to every person, that all of us, who have fallen short of His glory, may still have life because of Him. He IS the resurrection and life, the first and the last, and the One who not only came to redeem the world, but to save every person from themselves.
I have trouble realizing how big our God is. That even in the most simple things, He is present. Ever noticed that when someone asks your name, you say "I Am" before you say your name? I Am Sophia. Or when you are doing something, you say, "I Am doing...". God literally comes before everything. He comes before your name, your actions, your very words, because God is the "I Am".
If Jesus is the "I Am" in everything I do and say, then trees and lights and bells are meaningless to me. If Jesus' birth is the reason I live, then presents and Santa Claus are worthless (even though I still love all of this stuff). I have been striving to know the reason why Christmas is so valuable, what makes it so radiant and treasured. This night, 2000 years ago, is the reason that all of our wrongs turned into hope, and all of our heartbreak turned into redemption. Not just His birth, but His life. The life that showed us that we matter, even though we may fall short of how big our God is. I am starting to see that everything branches back to His love. And His love is why Christmas has meaning.
I hope everyone can find hope in this for Christmas. I know that I have.
Merry Christmas :)