Part 1:  Immanuel
December is here and that usually means the coming of many things: gifts from friends, relatives going home from abroad, a few holidays to rest, more time to spend with the family, and alas, the much-awaited 13th month pay. Simply put, this month brings with it a lot of great tidings for any person. Indeed, it is an eagerly awaited season of giving, festivities, tradition, and…busyness.

With all the good things going for this month, a lot can be said about the bad things as well: overly traffic non-moving (parking) roads, mall congestion (infestation of swarms of shoppers), food comas induced by overeating and gluttony, much merriment and revelry in Christmas parties, and the ever-present feeling of loneliness, depression, hopelessness, and melancholy that comes with the season (especially for those who are heart-broken or experiencing above-normal “cold” temperatures this Christmas season).

Christmas has been broken into and single-handedly intermingled with a lot of promotional advertisement, excuses for sinful behavior and carousing, exposure for events, publicity for personalities, and the general consumerist mindset that we, all, have utterly embraced.

Is Christmas still the same as it was? Have we lost sight of what it should be?

Before the Holiday rush comes in, I will endeavor to go back to our Christmas roots. It may be the last month of the year but it counts for something more, when we stop to consider the significance of all this feasting, veneration, and celebration this yuletide season.

This is the reason why I came up with this seven day devotional for the soul. It’s actually a self-examination of sorts, to check where my mind, heart, and soul are, especially in this season where the temptation to let loose and be busy are quite tremendous.

In these six days, I will tackle a portion or aspect of the Story of Christmas, as found in the Bible. It will be an effort to retell the greatest story ever known: of how Jesus Christ, the Savior, came to redeem us from ourselves and to save us from “Christmas” (or at least how it is known today).

You may choose to read it daily or every other day, heck, you may even choose to not read it at all (it’s okay), but the point is, I want to behold the true meaning of the season and to behold the Celebrant in whom we are rejoicing.

More than the celebratory fellowship and family gatherings, more than the food and gifts, and more than all the things that are going to happen in these next 31 days, we take a halt to our gloriously busy lives and give time to exalt the glory and goodness of God, from whom all good things flow.

Perhaps, the best gift of all that we can receive this Christmas season is the truth that out of God’s divine love, He gave His one and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, for us. Not only was Jesus sent to save and rescue us from our sinful and dire situation, but He was sent bearing the name, Immanuel, meaning “God with us”. In other words, He was sent so that He could simply be with us.

 Isn’t that such an awesome reality and tremendous comfort for us?

 Jesus is the one who comes to us, who pursues us, and wants to be with us.

This Christmas season, let’s not forget that Christ is indeed with us whether we are going through a season of trial and darkness, or a season of joy and blessing. Enjoy!

To continue this devotional series, please see Part 2:  Waiting On Christmas:  The Prophecies