God’s Presence: Greatest of All Presents
Do you have a gift that springs to mind when you think of all the presents you have recieved over the years? Maybe every time you see that gift, it takes you back to the moment you opened the package or saw the smile on the person’s face who gave it to you. I would wager that monetary value has little to do with that gift that you find so special. It seems that most gifts that we find special remind us of the person who gave it to us. You can probably even remember the details of how it was wrapped, where you received it and the people present when you recieved this present. The best gifts seem to be this way, they remind us of someone’s love for us, or our love for them.
Christmas is a yearly reminder of a daily, eternal truth, God wants to be present with His people. The most heartbreaking effect of the curse of sin in
Genesis 3 is the loss of God’s presence with us. Mankind was sent out of the garden away from the presence of God. The relationship that was intended to have no interruptions or distractions was irreparably broken. This is what sin does, it puts a wall between us and God. We can understand this, even in our human relationships. When there is a great wrong between us and someone else, regardless of how deep our feelings run for that person, that wrong has to be removed before we can continue in any real relationship with them. Even if that wrong is removed through our forgiveness of that person. Immanuel, “God with us,” is a name given to Jesus that shows just how bad God wants to be in fellowship with His people.
When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the fact that God, despite our sins and rebellion, repaired the relationship between us and Him by sending His own Son to die in our place. Jesus removes the obstacle between us and Him by paying the price we could never pay. He gives us back what we lost in the garden through our sin.
I encourage you this morning to respond to God’s present by spending time in HIs presence. Even if it’s just a couple of minutes, put aside all your activity and take a few moments to soak up His glorious presence, the greatest gift you will ever receive.