Christmas is a season of mystery. Gifts are bought in secret, presents are wrapped and then hidden away only to be revealed on Christmas Day. At Christmas we are faced with the greatest mystery of all time, the coming of God to earth. The clues of God’s coming litter the Bible. Readings at carol services have brought these clues to light and give us insight into,where, when, how and who was involved ? But why? What was God’s motive in coming to earth? The clue as to why is found in the prophecy of Isaiah and repeated in Matthew’s Gospel.Twice the biblical authors repeat that God will give a sign, a clue, hidden in a name, Immanuel, which is translated, God is with us. That’s the reason why God came, he wants to be with us.
Picture the scene at the arrivals area in Dublin Airport on Christmas Eve.
People stream out of the gate only to be cheered and embraced by waiting loved ones. They are home, they are with us and that’s all that matters. God, too, wants to be with us, to be part of us, to share our lives, because he loves us. What an incredible reality and truth. Our ignorance, indifference or rejection does not deter him. Those who receive him, who believe in his name, the name of Jesus,are allowed to experience the greatest mystery of all, God with us.God loving us, God securing us, God purposing us. Immanuel, the why of Christmas.