When You Feel Alone

by | Dec 14, 2016

Lu 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 

There are times when we all feel alone.  For some, Christmas time is especially lonely and instead of being filled with joy, there is a sense of emptiness and a small nagging ache in the heart.

That’s when we need to look a little closer at the Christmas story, seeking to understand better the incarnation and what God was saying to all of us lonely human beings.

First and most importantly, that the incarnation says that God was willing to become flesh and blood to bleed and die for sin – sinless flesh and blood in place of sinful flesh and blood.

The incarnation also says that God wanted us to know that we are not alone. That he wanted to be near us – touch us – and we touch Him.  He didn’t just call us to Himself, but He came to us first.

The familiar elements of the Christmas story teach us powerful spiritual truths, but also address a simple emotional human need, the fear of being lost and alone.

First the powerful spiritual truths,

The angel announced to Mary that she would be with child.  This was a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy that a virgin would be with child.

Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was also with a child that would fulfill the Old Testament prophesy that there would be one who would come before the Messiah and make His way straight.

Joseph has a dream telling him to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife, because the child was of the Holy Spirit.  This fulfills an important theological need for the Messiah to have both parents from the line of King David.  Even though Joseph would not be the biological father of Jesus, he is listed in the Gospel genealogy as father, legally fulfilling the requirement of Messiah being of the line of David.

The shepherds received the first announcement of Jesus birth.  This is important because Jesus would be known as the Great Shepherd and He would reach out to the lowest of society, like these first century shepherds.  There is also a tradition that says that these shepherds took care of the lambs that would be one day used in the temple sacrifices on Passover – pointing to Jesus as the Lamb of God.

The Wisemen visiting Jesus are important because it tells us that Jesus ministry would go far beyond Israel, reaching the entire gentile world.  The gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh tell us of Jesus future ministry.  The gold speaks of His royalty, the frankincense His priestly ministry, and the myrrh His sacrifice and death.

Joseph being warned in a dream to flee to Egypt is soaked in meaning.  Joseph and Mary would flee from Herod’s murderous rampage to a place where Pharaoh once enslaved the Hebrews, and Moses was called by God to delivered them.  Moses was a type of Christ, but now Jesus has become Deliverer not only to those in Egypt, but the entire world.

Then there is Simion and Anna waiting at the temple.  God had revealed to them that the Deliverer was coming.  When they saw Jesus, they rejoiced, knowing God had fulfilled all that He had promised through the Old Testament prophets.

These spiritual truths are loaded with meaning that should cause every Christian to marvel at God’s detail and faithfulness, but there is another simple reason God did all these things.  He wanted to repeatedly say to this young frightened couple, Mary, and Joseph, you are not alone – I’m in this.

Just as God placed people, circumstances, and even angels around Mary and Joseph to guide them, He does the same for each of us.  Question is, do we recognized what God has strategically placed around us?

Even when we can’t see them or feel them, they are there.  There as signs that God has not forsaken us, and that we are not alone.

There is a Mel Gibson movie called Signs, in which He plays the part of a pastor whose wife has been killed in a car accident causing him to be angry at God and lose faith.  He feels God has forgotten him, and that he is all alone now.

Gibson lives in a farm house with his two children and his brother.  Strange things begin to happen and suddenly lights appear in the sky all over the world.  Aliens have come to invade earth and it looks like things are going to get bad.

There is a scene in the movie where Gibson and his brother are sitting on the couch watching reports about the alien ships.  Gibson’s brother says, “Some people think this is the end of the world”. Gibson says, “yes”.  Brother asks, “Do you think it could be the end of the world?” Gibson quickly answers, “yes”.

Then he gives this beautiful breakdown of two kinds of people. Those that see signs and believe someone is watching out for them, and those that believe they are alone and on their own.

The rest of the movie reveals that God had been all along the way preparing Gibson for a show down with the aliens. Gibson had never been alone, even in his darkest grief.

I love the way he sums it up – “is it possible that there are no coincidences?”  For the believer, the answer to his question is, yes there are no coincidences.  Everything that happens and everything God allows is for a purpose.  He has not left us on our own.

Remember what Jesus said,

 

Joh 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

 

Mt 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

He has not left us as orphans and He will be with us even until the end.

So, this year when we think about the birth of Christ, remember through it, God is saying, you are not alone – there has been people, circumstances, even angels, and the indwelling Holy Spirit placed strategically in your life to guide & protect you.  No, you are not alone.

 

Here’s your sign,

Lu 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”