17For this reason it was necessary for him to be like his brethren in all ways, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest concerning divine matters in order to reconcile those who have sinned to God.. 18Because he was tested by the things he suffered, he is able to sympathize with those who are tested. — Hebrews 2:17-18
The day after Christmas! What a rush! What excitement.
Well, at least for those in a hurry to do shopping at good sale prices. I had to stop at Walmart early this morning to get some necessities, and the rush was already starting. Fortunately, it wasn’t all that intense at that time, so I got through fairly quickly.
We’ve just started the season of Christmas. Yes, I do mean started. Even though the commercial presentation started before Thanksgiving, and the day itself has just passed, with opened presents and all, the season itself has just started. We tend to drop fairly quickly out of holiday mode right after Christmas, and certainly after New Year’s day. But the church calendar gives us some time to think about the arrival of Jesus.
We have celebrated Immanuelâ€”God with us. But let’s think about that just a little bit more. God is with us. He is right here. He’s not with us just a little bit. He’s not with us only when we do what is right. He’s not with us only when we’re paying attention.
Jesus arrived in Bethlehem in a bustle of activity. His early life wasn’t easy. He didn’t arrive rich. He didn’t live in comfort. He was tested and lived his life just like we do. He knows us. We say of Santa Claus that he knows when we’re bad or good, but Jesus not only really does know that, he knows why. He knows of the pressures that will make people yell at store clerks today, or behave badly in traffic, or curse people they don’t know for no particular reason at all. He knows what it means to be stressed.
We have a holy God, a powerful God, one we can trust. But because of Christmas, we also know we have an understanding God, one who knows just who we are.
It’s the comfort of the Christmas season. May God bless you into the New Year. Remember! God is with us!