Issue 35: Christmas – God in the Midst of Us

The early Church did not proclaim a different God to that understood by Jewish tradition, but saw Jesus Christ as part of the nature of the God who had appeared to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The same God – Yahweh – brought Israel out of Egypt , from a small tribe into Palestine as a nation established through the leadership of Moses and Joshua. Jesus Christ brings to us one of the significant aspects of the meaning of Yahweh, as God with us – God in the midst of us. Jesus came to show us that although God is almighty He does not stand aloof from us, but comes to share His love with us. He is a personal God who desires to have a personal relationship with us. He is the God who made the universe and world in which we live and made us with the personal nature that we have. He made us both material and spiritual persons so we could enjoy the world He made and enjoy our relationship with Him.

Sin and rebellion separate us from that love and its personal relationship. Sin is not simply doing the wrong things, but failing to be all that God intended us to be. We fail in such an endeavour because we were never intended to reach our full potential by ourselves. It was something that was meant to occur in and through our relationship with God. We can be morally blameless, yet fall short of the mark. Paul notes that he was blameless according to the Law, but was the chief of sinners because he had rejected and persecuted Jesus Christ. Jesus came so we could once again enter into a love relationship with God. His death on the cross paved the way for us to come back to God, be forgiven for our sins and enter into a holy and righteous relationship with the living God. He is the means by which we enter and stand in God’s presence. This Christmas we celebrate afresh the coming of that babe in a manger for us.

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