The Best Christmas Present

I had two insights from last Sunday’s sermon, God is With Us, preached by my awesome pastor, Richard White (listen here).

First, I am a rebel.

It takes a lot for a good girl to admit this. Yes, I am aware of the bad attitudes that swirl around my heart like snow in a snow globe. And although I bear the weight of shame daily, I’ve made good choices over the course of my thirty-two years, and somehow, I’ve always felt like a good person.

Last Sunday, the knowledge that I am a rebel traveled twelve inches from my head to my heart. I’m really not that good, I thought. I have a lot of issues (which had been my hunch for some time).

On the tail of that revelation came the second insight: God is for me.

And not begrudgingly so. Sometimes I see God as a tolerant being, putting up with my sin, dealing with it because I can’t, but wishing I’d get my act together. This is not the picture of a God who is for me.

Last Sunday I realized what “for me” meant: 100% committed, not angry, constant grace, without regret.

Pastor Richard referred to this as the best present we could receive this Christmas. To really know God is for us. Not to accept that he loves us and had to deal with sin because he is good and compassionate. But to know that sin and shame are out of the picture. Dealt with and gone. God being on our side is complete and unchangeable. Can Jesus undo his life on earth? God has given mercy, it cannot be taken back.

What other proof do we need that God is for us than to see the son of God lying in a manger, and to know that this innocent baby has it coming to him. He’s not going to live a Pollyanna life. It’s going to be messy and dark because….I am a rebel, and he is for me.

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