God Shows Up

October 24, 2023

Isaiah 9:6 is often associated with Christmastime. If anyone brings it up throughout the rest of the year, we think, wait, that’s a Christmas verse. The verse reads, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NKJV). Looking at verses like this one reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. 

Christmas is God’s annual reminder that the world is not as it should be, yet He is still redeeming and restoring it. The restoration began when Jesus was sent to be the Messiah.

Can you imagine a Christmas without Christ? It seems trivial, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this is often the cultural narrative of our time. Something so prolific, historical and important is traded for something shallow and insignificant.

We do a disservice to the world when we promote talking snowmen and flying reindeer instead of celebrating the Savior, the Incarnation. The messages that make Christmas smaller are just making it secular.

As followers of Jesus, we cannot fall victim to the dilution or reduction of what we celebrate at Christmastime. Can you imagine Joseph and Mary having a baby in a barn? We would look around and wonder how we ended up like this. Animals, instead of family, would surround us. A barn is far from clean and sterile. We would wonder, is the baby going to be okay? 

Yet, in the middle of this situation, in the middle of circumstances that were anything but ideal, definitely not what they imagined, what they had hoped, God showed up. He showed up in the middle of calamity and chaos, in the middle of the complexity.

Christmas is such a sacred time. Maybe as you’re heading into Christmas, you think your life circumstances are anything but ideal. You’re surrounded by chaos, by loss. This is not how you imagined life to be. This is not how you wanted it to go.

At Christmastime, we must remember that God showed up and is still showing up. When our circumstances are not ideal, when things are not going as we wanted them, when they’re not working out as we hoped, when this is not what we imagined … God shows up!

God’s redemption and restoration began in Bethlehem and continues today as God shows up for us when life is not as we hoped or imagined. What a wonderful gift!

By Elton DeMoraes, D.Min.