“If we were asked to read to a dying man who did not know the gospel, we should probably select this chapter as the most suitable one for such an occasion; and what is good for dying men is good for us all, for that is what we are; and how soon we may be actually at the gates of death, none of us can tell.”(Charles Spurgeon)
This quote by Charles Spurgeon refers to John chapter three.
As I gathered my thoughts for today’s post, I asked God for help to say what He needed me to say. John 3 came to mind almost immediately after my short prayer. I opened the Bible and skimmed through, agreeing with the fact that it is so fitting to read through today. Then my eyes jumped back to one particular verse (verse two), and it’s where Nicodemus tells Jesus, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”
Unless God is with Him.
Now that we’re wrapping up the holiday season and getting ready for the New Year, I wanted to remind us that God is with us. Throughout the Christmas holiday, we hear, say, and sing the phrase, “Emmanuel, God with us,” but the phrase seems to dissipate over the next eleven months. We don’t always keep it at the forefront of our minds.
With the mixture of presents and traditions, festivities and rituals, I can see how it’s easy to close the chapter and the Christmas-y phrases and happy-yet-stressful feelings. But at the end of the day, at the end of the holiday season, God is still with us.
Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25th, which we know as Christmas Day, but that doesn’t mean the tradition should be void. I think it’s wonderful that we dedicate a day, even a season, to celebrate His birth.
However, the reality is that, with His birth, He brought life because He would later give His. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection gives us a vast perspective into what our lives as believers look like every day, not just during the Christmas season.
His birth gave us a way to be born again. After all, it’s the premise of John chapter 3. Jesus explains what it means to be born again, referencing scripture left and right, explaining the simplicity of the Gospel to Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel.
Nicodemus questioned and pondered on Jesus’ words, as many of us once did, but I’m curious to know if he stayed there, in questioning mode, as some of us still do.
The traditions, church services, carols, and presents seem to take precedence over the reason for the season, but for those who fellowship with Christ, it only enhances the experience.
Including Jesus After December 25th
Let’s take some time to read John chapter 3 and linger on that phrase, God with us, just a little longer, and take it into the New Year.