It is time to say, “Merry Christmas” and to share joy. Yet as I look into the faces of people both near and far, it seems as though joy is in short supply. What many look at as being a wonderful time of the year is for many others a time of gloom. The world in which we live is one filled with problems, anxiety, frustration and angst.
The reality so many fail to realize is that the God of all creation is among us. The prophet Zephaniah of the Old Testament said this:
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
- Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)
You may wonder if God cares about you, notices you or is aware of you. The prophet wrote that God cares, takes notice and is intimately aware of you. The declaration that the Lord God is in your midst tells us of His closeness to humanity. Whether it is the face of the super moon in the sky or an infant, we can see the hand of God. And in the darkest moments of life and on life’s mountaintops, we can know He is near.
God takes notice of us and cares for us. The prophet said He rejoices over us! That is a powerful promise in fulfillment. I remember when my children played high school sports and while watching them play, I was so interested in them and their performance. As a father, there is nothing like hearing your child’s name being announced over the speaker system for a great play.
God is our Father, and He rejoices with unlimited intensity. He rejoices over you! Whether in life as we are making the great play or when we have fallen, He rejoices over us.
And even when life is not working out, we are told, He will save us! To save means to bring to safety from peril. In this, we discover God has an awesome plan and purpose for us, and it is to know and love Him. And as I know and love Him, I become the recipient of His quieting peace.
You are loved by God. Never forget that truth. He has an amazing plan for your life. Get to know Him and then love Him. Then that wonderful promise of God who is the Father who cares for you, takes notice of you, and is intimately aware of you comes to fruition as you realize He is exulting (rejoicing) over you with loud singing.
At Christmas we celebrate once again know that God has come near and He continues to be in our midst. So allow me to tell you, “Merry Christmas,” and encourage you to share joy.
Steven A. Davies is the pastor at Village Baptist Church in Destin. We welcome persons of all faiths and denominations to contribute to this section. Email email@example.com.