Merry Christmas from Japan!
This morning I watched my five year old daughter open her presents, and as I think about the expression on her face as she did, I think about the opening words of an old song.
As little children, we would dream of Christmas morn,
And all the gifts and toys we knew we’d find.
But we never realized a baby born one blessed night gave us the greatest gift of our lives.
It was the night when the invisible God became visible, the night the unknown God became known and drew near to us.
And that’s one of the things that Paul wanted to let the Athenians know. They had made an altar for “The unknown God.”
And Paul told them, “He is no longer unknown. He has revealed himself to us. He is not one of many gods. He is the one who created this world and everything in it. He is the Lord of all and the giver of life. And he has done everything just as he has planned it. Why?
God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him. (27a)
The good news as we seek him?
He is not far from each one of us. (27b)
One of Jesus’ titles is “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.”
The good news of Christmas is that God drew near to us, and we can now know him, truly know him, and come into a close relationship with him through Jesus Christ.
As John put it,
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only (that is, Jesus), who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. (John 1:18)
On that first Christmas day, God drew near to us. This Christmas, let us draw near to him.