A week ago we started a three part series, looking at the topsy-turvy nature of Christmas. What I mean by this is, have you ever stopped for a moment and considered how topsy-turvy, upside-down and back-to-front the story of that first Christmas really is? It may be familiar to many of us, but there is nothing normal about the story. Let me show you the third of three simple examples of what I mean:
A topsy-turvy person
Finally in this topsy-turvy story, let me show you the topsy-turvy person right at its centre. Flip with me to Matthew 1:22-23 where it says of Jesus birth,
‘All of this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him “Immanuel”—which means, “God with us”.’
So often our focus in the re-telling of the Christmas story is on various characters (the shepherds, wise men) coming to see baby Jesus in a cattle shed. However, the greatest and most topsy-turvy aspect of this Christmas story is the fact that God would choose to come and be with us! For each one of us, whatever your story and whatever you are currently facing, this Christmas you can know for certain that God truly is interested in you. Why can I say that with such certainty? Because 2000 years ago the baby Jesus was born and God revealed for all time that he was interested in the lives of men and women because he had come to dwell amongst us—Immanuel.
Whatever you are facing this Christmas, I want you to know that this topsy-turvy, upside-down, back-to-front story reveals to you and to me a God who is interested; in fact, a God who so loves us that he stepped into our world and dwelt amongst us.
So let me leave you with a couple of questions to think on: How will you respond to the topsy-turvy nature of this Christmas story? More importantly how will you respond to the topsy-turvy person, Jesus the one who came to dwell amongst men? Will you pack it – and him – away with the Christmas decorations until next Christmas, or will you choose to explore further this amazingly topsy-turvy story and, right at the centre of that story, Immanuel—God [who chose to come and be] with us