It is difficult to defend ourselves against the distractions of the holiday season. It seems everywhere we turn, something wants to steal our attention away from the lowly stable in Bethlehem. Time has a way of blurring events in history. With over two thousand years spanning from that starry night when a holy baby took His first breath to today, we can feel the event quite irrelevant. Or perhaps we fail to think of it much at all. It seems each year, with rapidly increasing noise and distractions, it becomes harder to focus our hearts and minds on Jesus. Yet maybe, as we train our thoughts toward the specific reasons He came, fixing our eyes on Jesus will become our default. His life becomes incredibly relevant to our own as we consider the unprecedented purpose swaddled beneath a star-lit sky.
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus, the Son of God, was present at creation. In Genesis 1:26, God uses the plural “Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness …” Colossians 1:15-16 paints a fuller picture of Jesus’ involvement in creation: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
Being all-knowing, we have to wonder what Jesus thought as He participated in creating a perfect world. He had to have known how this masterpiece of creation would be broken by sin and also that He would walk this earth — right amid the brokenness. Did His heart break as He considered what was coming? It’s incredible to consider that although knowing all things, Christ’s resolve did not falter. He came to earth to do the Father’s will — to enter into our brokenness and make the only way for us to be whole again.
While it’s easy to feel divided in a million directions and fractured in focus, we can know that Christ came so that we can be complete in Him. Abiding in His Word and presence, He is actively making us whole. Colossians 2:10 promises, “and in Him you have been made complete.” In Ephesians 3:19, we discover “the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.”
If Jesus was not deterred by the brokenness of this world, we can trust He is fully willing to enter our lives — no matter how messy they are — and make us whole.
Perhaps it is becoming increasingly difficult to focus on Jesus each Advent season because fears have moved in like fog and settled over the circumstances of our lives. Our field of vision is obscured, and we struggle to see past fear to the hope beyond it. Our quality of life suffers as we live each day enslaved to anxiety. This is not what God has for us. God sent His Son as the only solution to fear. Throughout Scripture, we are instructed to “Fear not,” and Jesus is the answer to this command. So much more than a commandment, “Fear not” is an invitation. Jesus paves the way and leads us each step as we pursue a life liberated from fear. Throughout Jesus’ life on earth, we find Him assuring His followers that our fears are subdued by the promises of God. In His parables and lessons, He spoke directly to the specific anxieties of the human experience. He acknowledges our very real fears. In John 16:33, He blankets every circumstance with this promise, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus has won the victory, and daily He is helping us enter into His triumph and lay our anxieties at His feet.
In the wake of sin, humanity’s purpose unraveled. We were created to enjoy God in relationship and glorify His name. This all came undone when humanity chose to walk away from God. Jesus, making the only way back to God, reintroduced vibrant purpose and significance into an otherwise dull and dismal existence. Calling upon His name and following Him as Savior, we step into a life of great purpose! Long before Christ came, the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 33:11, “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.” Jesus is God’s means of carrying out His purpose — His plans never fail! Jesus confirmed this in John 6:38 when He proclaimed, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
Redeemed and equipped through Christ, we’re able to carry out God’s plans and purposes for our lives. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Considering the incredible purpose of that holy baby in a manger over 2,000 years ago, we discover remarkable significance for our lives, too.
This Advent season, may we practice putting away distractions as we remember why Jesus came. In Christ we are made whole as we discover the most profound peace and eternal purpose for our lives.