The Morning After

by Kelly Borjas

The Monday after Thanksgiving started—and all I could see was my to-do list. Piles of laundry, recovering from company, cookies to bake for school performances, Christmas cards to send, presents to buy, and a smattering of holiday events (interrupted by an out-of-town wedding in the middle of December). It’s a ridiculously busy time of the year. Then I think about all the things I have coming at me to soak up Advent, remember what Jesus did for us, be present, focus on what matters. I felt overwhelmed at the contradiction. How am I supposed to stop and focus on Jesus when I am running a hundred miles an hour to accomplish everything in the month of December? To clarify, I love all of these things. Truly, I love watching a Hallmark movie and writing Christmas cards, basking in the glow of a lit Christmas tree, baking cookies with my kids, buying presents.

I went for my morning run that day, and prayed, asking the Lord how I was supposed to juggle everything and still keep Him at the center of our lives. At the end of the run, I saw a rainbow in the sky. Before you think I’m over spiritualizing, I had a realization. After God instructed Noah to build an ark and flooded the earth, He gave a promise that He would never flood the earth again. A rainbow is a sign of that promise. A reminder. That rainbow reminded me of something Steve said in his sermon last Sunday: God always does what He says He is going to do. He’s never flooded the entire earth again. God did what He said He would do.

I started thinking: what did God say He would do in regard to a Savior? The Old Testament is filled with God guiding his people and a promised Messiah. At the beginning of the Bible God says His offspring will defeat Satan (Genesis 3:15). He promised Abraham he would be a great nation (Genesis 12:2). He promised a Messiah to be born of a virgin, whose name is Immanuel, meaning God with us. (Isaiah 7:14). This savior would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

The Bible also says this Messiah would be pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5), and that He would not stay in the grave (Psalm 16:10). There are several other prophesies of this coming Messiah, but these stood out to me. God did what He said He would do! He brought Jesus into the world as a baby—both human and God incarnate. Jesus lived on earth, ministered to people in all walks of life, and then died for our sins, rising again to defeat death and sin. All people are invited into this Kingdom, fulfilling the promise God made to Abraham to make a great nation.

As I’ve reflected on those truths this week, I’ve realized it’s not overly complicated. We don’t need to read every Advent devotional or follow some specific process to be reminded of the meaning of Christmas. Rather, we can simplify. God did what He said He would do. He brought a Savior into the world. Immanuel—God with us. When I think of it that way, it’s life changing. When we’re at school performances or wrapping gifts; when we’re baking cookies or shopping, we can remember the significance of this Savior. In fact, if all I remember is that God fulfills His promises, I can reflect and appreciate His great gift. The Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace came to the world to rescue sinners. God did what He said He would do.