When I read the Steve Jobs biography a few years ago, one of the stories from his life that I found most interesting was a story about his father.
Jobs had been adopted, and he had not known anything about his biological parents until well into his adulthood. But he and his biological mother did eventually meet, and she told him about a sister he had.
After he and his sister met, she told him she was looking for their father. Jobs was interested, but he told her that if she found their father, she was not to tell him about himself. He would decide whether or not to reveal who he was to his father.
After some time, his sister did find their father. After some investigating, Jobs decided not to contact his father, and he never did before he died. And his father never learned that his son was Steve Jobs before he died.
But here’s the most interesting part of the story.
When Jobs’ sister found their father, he was running a coffee shop. But their father explained that he had once been a big restauranteur before falling on some hard times business-wise. He said he had served a lot of famous people, including Steve Jobs. Jobs had eaten their several times and he had been a great tipper.
Steve Jobs and his dad had met several times never knowing who the other person was.
Think of all the people who met the baby Jesus and had no idea who they were meeting.
Think of all the people who celebrate Christmas, not knowing who that baby they celebrate is.
And think of all the people who know who the baby is yet rush through this season with little thought given to what they are celebrating.
Matthew records the angle’s message to Joseph, “‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us)” (Matthew 1:23).
He is God with us.
In another scene from the gospels, an angel tells shepherds, “‘Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger’” (Luke 2:10-11)
He is God with us. He is the Savior.
In Christ, God came for us.
All those people who passed by the baby, held the baby, heard the baby (maybe to the point of annoyance)…and never learned that the baby was God with us, the Savior.
In our Christmas services we’ll be looking at what it means that God came for us.
Three aspects of what it means, each emphasized by the word or words accented when you say, “God came for us.”
GOD came for us. Immanuel.
God CAME for us. Rescue.
God came FOR US. The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Don’t miss it. Don’t miss what he came to do. Knowing or remembering and celebrating why he came changes everything in this season.
Do you know someone you can invite?
Here’s what I said to someone I invited today: “If you’re looking for something Christmasy to do, our Christmas services at Five Oaks are on Saturday…. It’s casual in dress and style. About one hour long. Lots of Christmas music. Like a nice cup of hot chocolate!”
I hope she and her family come. I’m praying for it.
Who are you going to invite right now?