As we turn the page on our calendars, we turn our hearts toward Christmas and the coming of our Savior in the swaddling clothes of a child.
When I started thinking about Christmas this year, I started wondering what it is that I need to know when I hear that newborn baby cry this year. Immediately, my heart was overwhelmed with all of the assurances that I need in my life right now, all the reminders that I need of God's goodness. At the same time, I realized that the things that I think about first this year are not the things that I thought about first last year. Or the year before that. Or the year before that. In fact, every year, as I come toward Christmas, it seems that my heart is looking for something else entirely in that manger.
And that's okay.
It's okay for my life to change and to grow in ways that I need to know something different about God this season. In fact, it's the way that faith is meant to work. As our circumstances change, we come into contact with greater and greater things about God, coming to know more of Him as our world demands that we know more of Him. As our faith requires it. So I'm not troubled to come again to this stable, peering around the corners and looking into the manger to see if I can see what my heart needs to see.
I have absolutely no doubt that I will.
The more I thought about my own coming to Christmas, the more I thought about the world's coming to Christ.
When we are taught about evangelism, we are taught to go out and teach about Jesus, about everything He is and everything He's done. We go out and proclaim how amazing He is and how much beyond our imagination He is and how He is literally everything, and we can get lost in the overwhelming nature of God-made-flesh-among-us. There's so much to say, so much to see, so much to know. To many of us, the sheer volume of information that we have about Jesus is sufficiently overwhelming; how could anyone not believe?
But the truth is that most persons aren't looking for sufficiently overwhelming. They aren't looking for a large volume of information. They aren't looking for "everything." Their lives, right now, aren't built to hold that, just like mine isn't. And yours isn't, either.
In fact, the more we talk about how Jesus is everything, the more others start to drill down deep into their own hearts and discover what it is that they really need. You see, everyone has that one thing - just that one thing that they need Jesus to be. It depends on where they are in their life, what their needs are, how their heart is shaping up, but in any given season, for just about any of us, it boils down to one thing.
And if someone could just show them that Jesus is that one thing, if Jesus could just reveal Himself to be that one thing, then they would believe. Just like that.
It really is that simple. The world isn't looking for Jesus to be everything, to be Savior King, to be God-in-flesh, to be whatever all the glorious and wonderful things are that we are ready to proclaim Him this season; they just need Him to be that one thing their life needs right now.
The Good News is, of course, that He is.
As we come toward Christmas, I want to talk about the many one things that Jesus is, the one things that we need Him to be this year. That the world is looking for. That your heart is aching for.