Tuesday, December 8, 2009

God With Us

If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: “God with us.” We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a Baby in the manger is the truth that this promised Baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!

~ John F. MacArthur, Jr.

If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: "God with us." I thought that was worth repeating.

Many of us have heard the saying "it's not about religion, it's about relationship" - in fact many of us have said these very words when we are trying to share our faith with others, especially when we hear people say "I believe in God, but I think religions/churches are all messed up".

"God with us" emphasizes the relationship aspect, particularly the part where God initiates a relationship with us, He seeks us, He goes even so far to come to earth as one of us, and not as we would expect - not coming to earth in all his flashing Glory to make us tremble in awe. But He instead He came to earth as a newborn baby, the most helpless state of human being. "The Word became flesh and lived among us." (John 1:14) He wanted to share with us in our human experience, through each stage of growth and experience. So He can relate to us. And we can also relate to Him who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, our temptations, our pains, even our tears - because He experienced them all, too.

I'm not sure if you can have any sort of real relationship with another being if you can't relate to them on some level. We all desire to connect to each other in some way. We want to tell someone our experience and have them say "Oh, yes! I understand! I had something like that happen to me too!"

I believe the closest relationships are the ones where we relate to each other the most. Parents and children, because they spend so much of their lives together. They have so much history, so many shared experiences. Even most rebellious teens, once they mellow with age a little, start to realize they have a lot they can relate to with their parents.

Now husbands and wives, this is a very interesting relationship because it starts later in life, and initially one might find a few things (mainly, hormones!) that you relate to each other on; but you also discover a myriad of things about each other that you don't relate to at all! But you stick with your mate - sometimes only because you made vows and the vows are the only thing keeping you together. But gradually, because you are with each other, more common experiences accumulate that glue you closer together. And one day you wake up and find out that your love for your husband is much, much stronger than it was when you were married. What you thought was love, back then, has deepened into something strong and refined and beautiful, tested by and strengthened by trials.

"God with us" is kind of like the parent/child relationship, and the husband/wife relationship, and the friend/friend relationship, all wrapped up in one, with an additional element that we have no earthly comparison to because God is, after all, God, an infinite and omniscient and glorious being. His ways are above our ways. He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see (1 Timothy 6:15-16).

On a personal note, I'm so glad I came across this quote and took the time to ponder it, because everything else about December so far has felt rushed and stressed. I am not used to having to work so much this time of year, or having looming deadlines. I'd like to take time to trim my tree, string lights outside, bake cookies with the girls, unearth a few more Christmas CD's to play. But this has made me sit back and concentrate on the MOST important thing. Thank you Lord.

The quote from John McArthur was chosen by the writer of Scraps and Snippets blog. Each Friday a new quote is shared on http://writingcanvas.wordpress.com/, along with the host site for the week. Anyone wanting to participate can ponder on the quote and write about about it on their blog, then link your post to the host blog.


  1. Welcome to In "Other" Words. It is nice to see a new face join in.

    I completely agree Jesus coming to earth helps us relate to Him. It gives us assurance He KNOWS what we're going through. What a tremendous gift!

    Nice work. I hope you'll join us again.

  2. This is a wonderful post--very thought provoking!!
    Now I'm going to ponder it some.

    Thanks for the link. I look forward to her quotes.

  3. I like how you emphasized the relationship aspect of "God with us."

    "I'm not sure if you can have any sort of real relationship with another being if you can't relate to them on some level." It's only because God became flesh that we can even begin to relate to our Creator. Thank heavens!

    You also made an excellent point that Jesus took on the most vulnerable human form - a baby. Thanks for participating in this quote. Your words added a lot to ponder on.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I really enjoyed your post.

  5. Thanks for joining us for In "Other" Words this week! Great thoughts on the importance of our relationship with Him...and words I needed to read right now. Thanks for sharing!