December 2014: Worked with the senior pastor to prepare 30 days of devotionals for Advent.

Day 29: The Reality of Christmas
Revelation 21:1-7 & Revelation 22

The dust has barely settled on this Christmas. Wrapping paper and bows linger in corners of the living room and a few presents remain in the piles their owners stacked them in before moving on to something else. Maybe you greet today with relief as life returns to normal or maybe today brings disappointment now that Christmas is over.

No matter where today finds you, the reality of Christmas remains. Throughout the Advent season, we looked forward to the arrival of hope, joy, peace, and love. Now that the anticipation and excitement are over, we tend to look to the next big thing, goals for the New Year or Spring Break plans. But in doing so, we skip over the reality of Immanuel, God with us.

Because Immanuel is now and Immanuel is forever. When we pack up the Christmas decorations and send the kids back to school, the reality of the baby in the manger is still ours to keep. Forever. Because of that baby, hope shines forth in our darkest nights. There is joy no matter our circumstances and peace beyond understanding. And oh, how He loves us. So much so, that He left heaven to meet us here. To find us. To save us. And He’s coming back again.

God’s gift of Immanuel means Jesus walks beside us on this earth, knowing full well what that entails, and no matter how our story ends here, we get to look forward to eternity with Him in Heaven.

See, the home of God is with His people.
He will live among them;
They will be His people,
And God Himself will be with them.
The prophecies are fulfilled:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
Mourning no more, crying no more, pain no more,
For the first things have gone away.
(Revelation 21:3-4, VOICE)

Read Revelation 21:1-7 & Revelation 22
The One who placed the stars and set the world into motion will make His home with His people. And as all of Creation groans for the return of her King, may we carry the reality of Christmas – the hope, joy, peace, and love of God with us – into each of our remaining days.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room.

In doing so, we acknowledge that He is also preparing room for all who love Him. The table is set; Jesus is coming. May we be ready as well.