December 25, Sunday, “A Blessed Christmas to You All”

Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from December 19-25 are written by Pastor Andrew Kim at Tapestry Church.  Andrew, a graduate of Eternity Bible College, is currently attending Fuller Theological Seminary.  He and Jessie were married in 2014.

Devotional Thought for Today

Matthew 1:23

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).”

25aRecently, I noticed while reading through my Facebook feed that many were calling 2016 one of the worst years in recent memory. And once you begin reflecting back, it’s not surprising that many have come to this conclusion: police brutality, racial divide, Aleppo, numerous shootings/bombings around the world, and the election (to half of the nation). Yes, it’s been a terrible year for many. In light of this, many of the comments expressed confusion. Others offered their own well-intentioned solutions in the form of new political policies and strategies. But most were resigned to a loss of hope. What can be done when the issues seem so much bigger than us?

25bIt was a similar situation around the time of the birth of Christ. The people of Israel had been in exile for many years and even as they returned to the promised land, they were met by Grecian, Ptolemaic, Seleucid and Roman oppressions. They had become foreigners in their own land. As a result, many Jews attempted to resolve the situation by means of violent revolution or by colluding with the Roman authorities for more power. But none of it brought the liberation they had been longing for, which led to a profound sense of hopelessness. But little did they know, that true freedom had come in the form of a baby, who was called Immanuel, “God with us.” This baby would go on to bring about a type of liberation that they could have never imagined; one that gave them freedom from their greatest oppressor: the power of sin.

As we go about our Christmas, let us rejoice in the hope found only in Jesus, who is Immanuel. He is the embodied presence of God. He is the true hope of the world. In the midst of darkness and pain, both globally and personally, He is the only answer. This Christmas morning, let us be reminded that our ultimate hope does not lay in politics or human ingenuity but in a baby named Jesus.

Bible Reading for Today: Luke 2

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