By Robert Anderson, BCM/D President and Pastor of Colonial Baptist Church, Randallstown, MD
The holiday season is here. What does it mean to you… family, friends, food, the presents? The holidays, especially Christmas, can cause many to be depressed. The memories of loved ones who are no longer here, the thought of spending the holidays alone and not having money to buy gifts can cause us to feel down. While your thoughts and feelings can be overwhelming, remember you are not alone. God the Father has specifically addressed these very concerns in the central message of Christmas.
The central message of Christmas is not only about the concerns of being with family, sharing the holidays with loved ones or buying and receiving gifts. It’s about “God with us.” In Matt. 1:23 we are told that a virgin would conceive a child and that child would be called Immanuel. Immanuel means God with us. This is the miracle…you are not alone.
Matt. 1:23 quotes Isaiah 7:14 to show the fulfillment of this prophecy. The prophet Isaiah records God asking Ahaz to request of him a sign. Ahaz declined, but God gave him a sign anyway. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Again, this is the miracle. You are not alone.
In the New Testament, John 1:14 states that “God became man and dwelled among us.” Therefore, the Bible proclaims He was crucified on a cross for our sins, was buried and on the third day He arose victoriously. And whoever believes in Him shall receive everlasting life. Once we receive Christ He will never leave us nor forsake us. Thus, you are not alone.
So when you think about this Christmas make sure you get to the heart of what Christmas means. It’s about the fulfillment of scripture for which God sent his Son Immanuel. God cares so much about us that He sent His very best, Jesus Christ. This is the gift of salvation which we should share with family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. Matt. 28:20 says, “I am with you always, til the end of the age.” You are not alone.
During this holiday season, I would truly be remissed if I did not thank the congregation of Colonial Baptist Church who has allowed me to serve as their pastor for the last 17 years. That in itself is a special Christmas gift for me. Have a wonderful holiday season!
In closing, I have had the pleasure of serving as the president of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D). The BCM/D is comprised of over 500 churches, which represents various ethnic groups and nationalities. I look forward to serving these wonderful churches over the next year. Also, I want to recognize many of my new friends who are a part of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Baltimore & Vicinity. I can’t wait to see what God will do among all of us in the coming year.