By Paul Witkop –

Our family dynamics have changed radically in the last three years.  Two of our three children are now living in college dormitories.  The youngest, who is still at home, answers all of our many questions with one word answers.  Our house has become much quieter.  We remember fondly the commotion that used to be our home life, the complications of car seats, and even refereeing of daily of the regular “he touched me” battles.  Looking back, we actually miss the chaos because it was life together.  Times together now are fewer and we celebrate them.  Life together is what real life is all about.

As we prepare for this 2014 Christmas season, we remember that the promise of Christmas is God with us.  God, the mighty creator of the universe came to earth on that first Christmas to do life together with us.  Despite all the battles between people in the world, all of our selfishness, and all the rest of the reasons God has to give up on us, God still pursues us.  All throughout the Bible, God comes to people and tells them, “I will be with you.”  In perhaps the best known passage in the Bible, Psalm 23, God promises us that even when we are walking through the darkest valleys, we do not need to fear. Why? Because you are with me.  Jesus’ last promise to us before he left this world was, “I will be with you always.”  Did you hear that…always… through all good and the tough circumstances…not sometimes but always!

God showed us His love by sending His one and only Son to be born in a manger and then to die on a cross so that we can experience life together with God.  Jesus came so that we could be with God, now and forever.

So, celebrate God’s love for you this Christmas by reaching out and caring for others who may be feeling very separated from God and alone.  Here are some ideas:

  • Are there elderly people or people without families in your life?  Take some time to visit them or include them.
  • Are there people who have recently moved into your neighborhood?  Bake or buy a plate of cookies and make a visit to get to know them.
  • Does your school or church or synagogue connect with a homeless shelter?  Sign up to serve a meal one night and make sure you sit down and actually talk with some of the people who are eating. Let them know you care.
  • Do you think about children who may not receive a gift this year?  How about you giving them a gift?

Celebrate Christmas by remembering God’s love for us in Jesus, God with us.

Celebrate Christmas with those closest to you.

Celebrate Christmas by remembering those who need God’s touch.

Christmas is about doing life together.

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