We have five pets at our house: two dogs and three cats. Over the years of having these pets, we have paid lots of vet bills. And since three of the five had have some health issues, some of those bills have been big. We have also seen stuff in our house damaged or destroyed, we have lost hours of sleep, and we deal with all kinds of messes every day.
So you might be wondering...why do we have all these pets?
Well, we like being with them. In fact, we love being with them. We love them so much that we are willing to pay the price to be with them, and that price includes both the money we pay for vet bills and food as well as the things we lose simply because we have them in our lives.
And that is how Jesus feels about us.
Jesus was born so that he could be with us. He loves us so much that he was willing to give up the perfection of heaven to come and walk with us in the mess we have made. And even more amazingly, he came to clean up our mess so that he could be with us not just for a little while but forever. He came to pay the price of our sin once and for all, and he did it with his life. He made the ultimate sacrifice just to be with us.
God told us this is how it would be...that Jesus would come to be with us and to save us from our sins so that we could be together for all eternity.
"Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet:
"Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means 'God is with us.'"
Matthew 1: 20-23
Jesus wants to be with us. He wants to be with us so much that he was willing to give his life to make it happen. His presence is how he shows us his deep love for us. And that is what we celebrate at Christmas.
Read Matthew 28:16-20
What does Jesus tell his disciples in this passage?
Why do you think Jesus includes a reminder that he is "with" them?
Make some art based on the word Emmanuel. You can do it by writing or painting the word on a piece of paper and adding colors or images to convey its meaning, "God is with us." You can also write a poem or a song about it.
Imagine Jesus doing something with you this week. It can be anything ordinary you do, from reading a book to eating a meal. Just think about him sitting there with you...and enjoy being with him.