And I was reminded that at the close of the Old Testament period, it was dark. The people had turned away from God, they had refused HIM, and gone their own way.
For years, it has been silent. No prophets prophesying, no word of God.
That is until that SILENT NIGHT, when the WORD BECAME FLESH and dwelt among us.
Jesus came to be our Immanuel.
Taking on flesh, to dwell and live among us… God with us.
As I was pondering this amazing truth today, and singing carols as I cleaned.
This thought crossed my mind. This is why missions is important!!
You see, it is good and needed to send money.
It is great to do short-term trips, to dig wells, to teach, to build orphanages, and do back yard Bible clubs.
All of these things are needed and important.
But those who come and live among the people are just as vital.
For they have come to dwell among the people. Just as Christ came to dwell among us.
Oh this doesn’t make them super spiritual. But it does make them needed to bring forth the Gospel into foreign lands.
I was once listening to a podcast by David Platt and he told a story about how once he traveled to the Sudan. When he was there, a man came to him and said. Now I know this message, this Gospel is truth, because you have come here to tell me.
Likewise, the pastor we are working with in Central Asia tells a similar story of his salvation. Growing us, his mother became a Christian first and sought to lead him to the Lord. But he had no interest. His interest was in making money and securing a comfortable future. That is until one day he met a medical missionary. He could not believe it nor understand why a doctor who could make lots of money, living comfortably in his own country would come to his country to serve his people. A people who could not afford to pay him. This doctor had given up his comforts, his family, his job security to come to serve. It was due to this, that the Lord opened his heart to his need of Jesus.
Jesus came and lived among us. He took on flesh. He humbled Himself in obedience to the Father. Even obedience unto death.
That He might set for us the perfect example.
This Christmas we are living far from family and friends. We are having to do our Christmas different from before.
But the Lord reminded me, that this is why we have come.
We have come to live among the people here. We have come to serve them.
That they might see the truth of the Gospel in our lives.
That we might shine as cities on a hill, pointing them to the One True God.
So though it is different, we rejoice.
And there will be much rejoicing in Heaven over just one lost sheep who calls upon the Lord!
How grateful we are that Jesus came to be Our Immanuel.
How thankful to know, no matter where we go, God is with us!