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Alone For Christmas? by Tim Zuck

Alone for Christmas?
Typically, December is a season of cheer but sadly, for many, that isn’t the case.  It’s a time of loneliness not because they are lonely but because they feel lonely. There is a difference.
One can be surrounded by people but still feel lonely.  We can be at the Christmas party with a bunch of people but feel lonely.  We can be sitting in a crowded airport or a crowded beach and feel lonely.  You can be walking the crowded halls of high school or middle school or eating in the cafeteria and feel lonely. 
Have you ever been there? I’m sure we all have at one time or another.
What’s the solution for loneliness? 
The answer may surprise you.  The solution isn’t quantitative- surrounding ourselves with enough people, but qualitative. We need the right kind of presence.  According to Christianity, we were created for presence—to dwell with God, the loving creator of the world, in harmony.
It’s a main story line of the Bible—and it all begins in the garden where God dwelt with Adam and Eve in loving harmony. But they choose to resort to selfishness and they lost access to the continual presence of God.  As a result, Adam and Eve are naked, afraid, alone, and plagued by a sense of detachment.  And so are we. 
Detachment surfaces in that feeling of loneliness.  It surfaces in the introspective question, who am I? It surfaces in the feelings of discomfort with our body and anxious thoughts about how people perceive us.  Will they like me?  Will I be accepted? These are all symptoms of detachment from God.  And the solution is found in the gift of Jesus’ birth.   
That’s the promise we hear from Isaiah the Old Testament prophet who ministered some seven hundred years before Christ.

Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.  -- Isaiah 7:14

The gospel writer Matthew assures us that the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah 7 is Jesus.
She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
See, the virgin will become pregnant
and give birth to a son,
and they will name him Immanuel,
which is translated “God is with us.”   -- Matthew 1:21-23

If you’ve been feeling lonely, then cheer up because Jesus can make all the difference in our lives.

We can cheer up because Jesus gets us.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.  -- Hebrews 4:15
Jesus lived the human experience.  He experienced it all except the sin.  He can relate to you.  He gets you so cheer up.  Because Jesus gets us, He can help us.
We can cheer up because Jesus can help us. 
Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.   -- Hebrews 4:16

Jesus can help us in our pain, our loss, our depression.  Jesus can help us in our loneliness.
We can cheer up because Jesus can now dwell in us. 
But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. -- John 1:12-13
We don’t have to live an existence apart from God.  We don’t have to go to a temple to experience His presence.  Instead, we can invite God to fill our lives.  The question is, have you received Him? To belong you first must believe. And when you do, the presence of God fills your life in a whole new way.

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