And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

God came near at Christmas. In a sense, he became our neighbor. He traveled to our little corner of the Milky Way, put on human skin, and moved into a Bethlehem stable. He came as close to us as he could because he loves us and desires a relationship with us.

There was a time when he was near and neighborly as he walked with Adam in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden. But our sin distanced us from a holy God and from the place of paradise for which we were created. As soon as sin entered the world, we began living on the far side of the nearness of God.

There's something inside all of us that groans about our present abode because this was not the way it was supposed to be. But God had a plan to bring us back together. "When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son born of a woman" (Gal. 4:4).

Jesus, the God-man, lived with us on planet earth for thirty-three years. After His crucifixion and resurrection, he ascended to heaven where he now sits at the right hand of the Father while he prays for the saints of God. He returned to heaven so that he could send his Holy Spirit, which he did on the day of Pentecost. This took place forty days after Passover when he became the "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29).

At the first Christmas, Jesus was and is Immanuel, God with us. Today, the Holy Spirit lives in us as believers in Jesus Christ. Do you see what's happening? God keeps moving closer and closer to us. And one day Jesus is coming again to take us to heaven to live with him forever.

You can experience the nearness of God this Christmas. Yes, his Christmas presence can be your personal possession by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

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