When we feel discouraged, the story of Jesus’ birth offers hope. For some of us, December can be lonely. Christmas might make you realize all over again that your family isn’t exactly Hallmark movie material. The holidays can remind you of loved ones you’ve lost or family members who live too far away for you to be with. Perhaps the end of another year only reminds you that you’re still single, still childless, or still sick.
The loveliest message of Christmas is Emmanuel, God with us.
Woven throughout the opening chapters of Luke is the silent, yet powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit comes upon Mary, and she conceives a child. The Holy Spirit fills Elizabeth and Zechariah; they prophesy about Jesus’ birth. The same Spirit touches and moves Simeon, so that he goes into the temple courts at the very moment Joseph and Mary bring in their child. Simeon recognizes the baby Messiah.
The same Holy Spirit who acted so powerfully at Jesus’ birth is with us today. You and I are never alone. God became flesh and dwelt among men in the person of Jesus Christ. Before Jesus died, He promised to send the Holy Spirit to His followers. As we follow Jesus, God dwells with us today through the presence of His Spirit.
We are never alone. God is with us.
We may not see God, but He is here. We can see His work in us and around us. When we slow down for a few quiet moments with Him, we can often sense His presence.
When we face discouragement, we have a Comforter.
When we feel fearful, His presence surrounds us.
When we feel unsure of our way, we have a Guide.
When we’re confused, we have a Teacher to remind us of God’s truth.
When we’re heartbroken, we have a Healer.
When we are weak, He empowers us.
When we’re full of doubt, we have the Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith.
As my busy December draws to a close, I realize I need to slow down a bit. I want make space for more of the Holy Spirit in my life. Maybe you do too? Would you pray along with me?
Holy Spirit, come and fill me today. Comfort me and give me hope. Renew my joy. Fill me with your wisdom. Lead me, guide me, and empower me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.