When God Feels Distant at Christmas


Rend Collective is a popular Christian band from Northern Ireland and they’ve got a message for anyone who’s having a hard time celebrating Christmas this year.

From Rend Collective:

God of God, light of light

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Lo he abhors not the virgin’s womb;

Very God begotten not created:

O come let us adore him Christ the Lord

– O Come All Ye Faithful

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy— the Son of God…For nothing is impossible with God.” – Luke 1:35, 37 (ESV)

Ever take a good look at the words we sing in our Christmas carols? To be honest, even though we had sung them hundreds of times over the years, it wasn’t until we wrote our Christmas album that we ever considered some of the stranger lyrics. And some of them really are strange. When else during the year do you ever sing the words “lo he abhors not the virgin’s womb?” And what does “Word of the Father” really mean?

Rend Collective ChristmasWe found despite all their weirdness, these words convey some of the most beautiful parts of the Gospel. They tell the story of God the Father’s rescue mission for the world.

God didn’t despise the world, he didn’t turn his back on us. Instead he chose to come to us in a way we could understand— he came to earth as a baby. He didn’t reject our humanness, but he embraced it, by being born to Mary.

He came to earth fully human, but entirely God as well. He was God on earth. Which means, if we want to know what God is like, all we have to do is look at Jesus. He isn’t different to God, he’s not a variation, translation, or different side. He’s not the “grace side” of God, he’s not different than the Holy Spirit. They’re all one and the same, and he walked here on earth among us.

It’s mind-bogglingly beautiful. The creator of the universe became small and human for our sake. So that he would understand our experiences fully and be able to show himself in a way we could comprehend.

We’re not sure where this Christmas finds you. Maybe you feel alone, forgotten, unsure of how to relate to God. Maybe you’re just singing ancient Christmas words by memory, but not by heart. Wherever you are, we hope this encourages you. That Jesus— God— so wants to be near to us, he became one of us. But without sin, so that he could reconcile himself to the world.

So come all you faithful ones, lift up your eyes and hearts and believe he has not forgotten or forsaken you. Let’s celebrate the Word of Father now in flesh appearing! O come let us adore him!

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