November 26, Saturday

UPDATEDToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on December 12, 2015, is written by Tina Hsu who serves as AMI missions coordinator.  Tina, a graduate of Biola University (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.), recently became a mom to a beautiful boy named Zachary.  Congratulations. 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Thinking on—Rather Early—the Meaning of Christmas”

John 1:14 

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

The month of December is almost upon us, which means, of course, it is an opportunity to reflect on the powerful message of Christmas. If I could sum up the message of Christmas in one word, it would be presence. There is power in “being with” people because presence communicates love. I came to grasp the power of presence for the first time during the summer after my sophomore year in college. I met with a Christian counselor once a week during that summer. The reason was, during the spring of sophomore year, I fell into mild depression. I lost a lot of joy in doing regular things. All I wanted to do was sleep so I could numb away my feelings. It was hard to study, and hard to worship! I was bearing a lot of hurt and anger towards my father, who was absent for a majority of my upbringing. During one session, as I shared my pain to my counselor, she cried and mourned with me over my pain. It was such a powerful moment. I felt like she was sincerely identifying with me in my pain. She was present with me with her ears and her heart. By her presence in my brokenness, I regained the strength to heal and to have joy. By her “being with” me, I felt like God’s love was so near to me. 

Presence communicates love. This is how God communicated His love to us. The message of Christmas is the nearness of God’s presence, which He demonstrated through His Son. The Son of God took on the flesh and came to be with us. He took on the form of man and came to dwell among humanity. He left where He belonged and came to reside among the chaos and the brokenness of this world. When the Son of God became flesh, he identified with our condition. Even though His own creation didn’t acknowledge Him as God, He drew near to demonstrate the grace and truth of our heavenly Father. As we rejoice at the coming of our Savior, let’s also offer the gift of presence and “be with” those whom the Lord puts on our hearts. 

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, I praise You for sending Your Son to be with us so we can encounter Your loving presence. Fill me with Your love so I could actively demonstrate love by being with people today. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Hosea 13-14

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