We are fully in the Christmas season! We have had several events already in our church family and look forward to more in the coming days. This is a wonderful time of year, and the gatherings, fellowships, ministry activities, and services are all worth anticipating. Many of us are busy cooking, practicing, preparing, traveling, and shopping in order to make the most of the events we think are important.
In the midst of all this, many of us are also faithful about making these things about Christ. We try to think about Him while we do these things, and we strive to point others to Him during this season—and these are good things. But if we’re not careful, we can reduce our relationship with Christ to a series of events attended. We can actually attend everything that the church puts on, and direct our hearts toward Christ during them, and still not intentionally seek Him.
Our relationship with Christ is not a series of connected dots in which we leap from one high point to the next, one event to the next, or even one Sunday to the next. We cannot gage our fellowship with Him by anything we do. Our relationship with Christ is a spiritual union with Him. It’s abiding in Him. It’s a walk with Him. It’s organic and free. It’s daily—even hourly.
The main thing that I want you to get this Christmas is that knowing Christ is the essence of your relationship with him. I am not speaking of the kind of knowledge that we have when we know a fact, but rather the kind of intuitive, relational knowledge we have when we know a person. That’s how our relationship with Christ operates.
This personal, relational knowledge is what Jesus meant when he told his followers (all of us who believe), “Believe [or trust] in God,believe also in Me,” (John 14:6). This is how he spoke of the Holy Spirit, “You know him because he abides with you and will be in you,” (John 14:17). This is why he said, “Abide in me, and I in you,” (John 15:4). This is why he prayed for his disciples “that they mayknow You [the Father],” (John 17:3). He is interested, not chiefly in our regular attendance of church events, but in our affection and attention in our everyday lives. He beckons us with a small, comforting voice to come away and know him, trust him, abide in him.
During this holiday season, I pray that you will enjoy all the events and gatherings you are a part of. I really do. But more than that, I pray that you will enjoy the small intimate moments with your Savior as you get to know him more and as your trust in him becomes more and more personal.