Matthew 1:23 – The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel — which means, "God with us." (NIV)
Change of address cards are piled in my study as I write this. We are moving, and looking forward very much to our arrival at Parkwood Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, for December 1st. Change of address announcements, whether sent via e-mail or Canada Post, are necessary to notify family, friends, and colleagues where to find us. Certain businesses and government offices also need or want to know our whereabouts.
The celebration of Christmas is about the change of an address — God's address. God chose one day, 2000 years ago, to change His address. The angelic announcement indicated, "God with us" — the eternal Creator of the ends of the heavens and the earth had stepped into time and space. God is "now residing" with us, as James Montgomery puts it in the carol, "Angels From the Realms of Glory".
I would not get too far, though, in ensuring the proper re-direction of my mail, if I were merely to post a note on a bulletin board in cyberspace or publish my change of address in the Royal Gazette. It is necessary that individual notices be sent to each and every person or entity with whom I correspond.
This is so, and more, with God's change of address. He desires not only to reside in the world he has created, but in the hearts and lives of those whom He has made in His likeness. God is moving, today, into the lives of men and women, young and old, teenagers and grandparents. Jesus comes knocking, seeking a home in each of our hearts — wanting our lives to signal, "God lives here!"
Have you received His change of address announcement? Has He made your heart His home? My prayer is that the Christmas season will be a celebration of His presence in our midst — in every heart, in every home, in the household of faith, and in the communities in which we live.
Prayer: Almighty, holy God, we worship You. In Your Son, Jesus, You chose to move — making first a virgin's womb, and then a cattle shed, Your new address. By Your Holy Spirit, You still choose to make humble human hearts Your new home. Help us to receive You with joy in these days. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.