I bring you Christmas greetings from Atlanta, Georgia!
As someone who grew up on the streets of Atlanta for part of my childhood, I thought it would be good for you to see what’s happening here now.
I know that so many of us have had a crazy year with the Covid pandemic. Many of us have lost friends and family members. Some of us have been sick with the virus ourselves. Many of us have lost our jobs. Many of us have lost our homes and places to live. A lot of people are suffering.
Businesses have had to close down. There’s social unrest. People are having difficulty. And here in the midst of this you can see that people have tried to express it in so many different ways. It’s an unusual time, but in the midst of this we celebrate Christmas.
We’re taken back to Bethlehem where God entered the world through His Son, Jesus Christ, where He brought hope to a world that was suffering in sin and suffering in loneliness and suffering in isolation. This incredible message that we have to proclaim, I want to proclaim to you again, that God loves you so much, He loves me so much, that He sent His Son into the world.
As the apostle John said in John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory of the only begotten Son of the Father.”
“The Word became flesh.” J.B. Phillips translates that, “and the Word pitched His tent among us.” The Message translates that, “the Word became flesh and blood and moved into our neighborhood.” In other words, God came to be with us! And not only did He live with us in the person of Jesus Christ and to His death and resurrection opened for us the way to have an eternal relationship with Him through the forgiveness of our sins, but also through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For those who come to Him in faith, for those who believe in Him, He gives this incredible gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit – which means God literally tabernacles with us. He dwells in us. He pitches His tent in our life. We are never alone.
Now, some of you are feeling lonely. Some of you are feeling isolated. But because of what God has done for you, you are not alone. He’s with you, and He cares for you, and He will help you.
Sometimes all we can do is call on His name: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. When we do that, His presence becomes real to us.
So, during this Christmas time, whatever it is you might be facing, remember that God wants you to have hope. He wants you to have life. He wants you to have His forgiveness. And, above all, He wants you to have Love.
So, as you celebrate Christmas in your own way, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing and by the power of the Holy Spirit give you hope.” (Romans 15:13)