I recently heard a story about a little boy who was playing hide and seek. He found a wonderful hiding place where he couldn’t be found. It was such a good hiding place that the other children who were seeking eventually gave up, and went home. When the first boy realized that no one was still looking for him and that his playmates had gone home, his feelings were hurt. He walked home sad and alone. Find out what this has to do with Christmas. Please read more.
Do you remember how excited you were as a child when you played hide and seek and you found that perfect hiding place? Can you imagine how you would feel if you hid there for a long time, never being discovered, only to come out from hiding to realize that all of your playmates had gone home? What thoughts would be going through your mind as you walked home alone?
The birth of Jesus on that first Christmas night long ago, was the time when mankind finally found God. Prior to Jesus’ birth, it could be said that God was in hiding. When Jesus became man like us, God had been found. Metaphorically speaking, the game of hide and seek had come to its conclusion. It was a time for great rejoicing! Luke 2:13 tells us, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Yes, without doubt, the birth of the Messiah was a time for great rejoicing. Thousands of years of seeking were fulfilled. Let’s take a look at what the Bible tells us.
In Isaiah 7:13-14 it is written, “Then he said: Listen, house of David! Is it not enough that you weary human beings? Must you also weary my God? Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.”
In Matthew 1:20-23, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.”
With the birth of the Christ-child, God who had been hidden from view throughout human history, became present to us. He was no longer hidden. He was there in plain sight, lying in a manger. Jesus is God with us! He is Emmanuel! He is the long-awaited Messiah! He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies! Yet, despite His birth, we must still SEEK Him out everyday. Then, He was born in a manger. Now He desires to be born anew in our hearts.
The boy hiding in my opening story was never found by his playmates. He hid there hoping beyond hope that his friends would continue seeking him out until he was found. Sadly, that didn’t happen. His friends gave up and went home.
Sometimes God may feel hidden from us. He may feel distant and far away. We may feel tempted to stop looking. We must never quit searching. God never leaves us alone, even when we don’t sense His presence. He is always right there beside us, but we must look closely to find him. In 1 Kings 19:11-12, Elijah had to keep looking. He did not find God in the violent wind, the earthquake, nor in the fire. Rather, he found Him where he least expected, he found Him in silence. The main point is that Elijah kept seeking, he never quit. God was right there with him all along.
Like Elijah, we must always keep seeking God. Christmas is more than just a day or a season. Christmas is meant to be lived out in our hearts every day of our lives. Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.” During these last few days of Advent let’s search our hearts with these questions:
- Am I truly seeking out God everyday?
- In what ways do I seek after Him?
- Where do I go to find Him?
- What spiritual tools do I use to help me in my pursuit of Him?
- How many hours each week do I spend seeking God?
- Have I given up and quit looking for God like the children who quit looking for the boy in the story?
Once we have found Jesus, then, with the spirit of Christmas in our hearts, we can all commit our lives to leading others to Him, so that they may find Him, and share in the joy of Emmanuel, God with us, every day of their life!
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son into the world to be with us. In order to remain close to Him, help me to seek Him out every day. Please remove anything that distracts me from Him. Help me to keep the joy of Christmas in my heart always! Amen!
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