Common Christmas Feelings

We would do the same.

We read a verse in the bible, see a promise of God’s, and think, are you sure? I know the text says I’m forgiven, but am I? I know the bible says God will never leave me nor forsake, but…?

Now, let me tell you something that I think is amazing. For many of us, we name a child after a family friend, someone close to us, or look up the top 10 names of the year and go on that. But Throughout the bible, names are essential. They tell a part of a person’s story, character, or something God wants us to know about them.

Zechariah’s name means “The Lord has remembered.”

It is not a coincidence that after 400 years of silence, God’s first words are to a man whose name means “The Lord remembers.”

Why? The people of God felt forgotten. They were under Roman rule. I’m sure many people wondered, how do we know God is even real? When was the last time we heard from him? When was the last time he sent us a prophet? Moved? Did anything we can see?

Not only that, I wonder if Zechariah felt forgotten. I wonder if Zechariah heard his name said by friends and ever thought, “God doesn’t remember.”

Yet, Zechariah believed and prayed. And God remembered.

God remembers and answers. The message of Christmas tells us, God remembers and answers.

Right now, some of you are wondering, does God remembers and answer? Does he remember and answer while I walk through a divorce? Cancer? A family that is the picture in the dictionary when you look up dysfunctional? Does he remember and answer in unemployment? Lost hopes and dreams?

Sometimes, we need to be reminded; God knows you. God remembers you. God hears you. Maybe you’re here today, and you don’t know why you’re here, but you need to be reminded, God knows you. God remembers you. God hears you. God answers.

Not always the way we want or on our timetable. Zechariah was an old man!

So God sends an angel to Zechariah to say, “Your prayer has been answered, you will have a son.”

Christmas is not about sentimental feelings. Those are nice, but they only get us so far. They aren’t able to handle the darkness of the valley. Christmas is about the reality that God came to earth in Jesus, he entered our mess and became one of us, and because of Jesus, and because of the birth of Jesus, this leads us to the peace we long for.

God remembers and answers. 

So because of that…

What prayer are you asking God for this Christmas?

Maybe it is something specific that you stopped praying for but need to start.

Or maybe it is something you have never prayed for but need to start.

Or maybe, you need to ask God to open your eyes to see what he’s doing around, so you don’t miss him showing up.

This article originally appeared here.

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Josh Reich is the lead pastor of Revolution Church in Tucson, AZ, the author of Breathing Room: Stressing Less & Living More & is passionate about helping people not settle in life and miss all that God has for them.