“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).” Matthew 1:20-23 NIV
I love that God didn’t send a program or a politician in the heart of humanities mess, He sent a person. He sent His son. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. He did not come with a “get a better life program” but He came with the gift of new life, new creation and a new identity for all who trust Christ’s sacrifice for their sins.
The Apostle Paul put it like this in his letter to the churches in Corinth when he wrote, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.” 2 Corinthians 5: 17-19 NLT
What is a gift? It is something that someone picks out for you, pays for and gives to you. You can’t earn a gift, you can only receive it – and that is the point. May this Christmas you fully receive the new life that is yours in Christ. May you stop trying earn it or be good enough for it and accept it. This gift is yours, paid for through the blood of Christ to live fully reconciled and restored to God every single day.