Andy Denen

Ideas on life, church, and culture.

You Are Not Alone // Part 2

You are not alone.

Read that sentence again. I’ll even write it again so you don’t have to go back.

You. are. not. alone.

I know what you might be saying, “How do you know I’m not alone?”

Whenever I was a younger person and someone would write in a book or article or preach from the stage at church, “You are not alone.” I always thought, “Cool… I’d like to think that’s true, but that doesn’t magically make me feel less alone.”

It’s encouraging, sure. It’s nice to hear. But it doesn’t change the struggle we have of feeling loneliness sometimes.

I still feel lonely at times. It comes with the territory of being a leader. Which is fine, I knew what I signed up for. Not everyone always understands the weight of what you carry and that’s ok. You probably have something similar to that. It might not be leadership, per se. But you have goals, dreams, aspirations that not everyone understands and that can lead to feeling lonely at times.

You are not alone.

It’s the Christmas season. Christmas is probably my favorite holiday throughout the year. I’m not crazy about the bitter cold and trudging through the snow all the time. God knows if I never have to shovel a driveway again that’d be just fine with me. At this point, I use snow shoveling as an excuse not to go to the gym.

“That was a good work out!”

“What’d you do?”

“Shoveled my driveway….”

But I’ll deal with the snow because I know it comes with the season. It’s what the holiday represents that I love most. Christmas is great when you have kids because it takes on another whole level. To watch your kids get excited about Christmas is special. Teaching them about Christmas traditions, building new traditions each year, teaching them about what Christmas is all about, seeing them open their gifts… all of it is just a constant reminder of how great life really is.

At it’s core, Christmas is about reminding us that we are not alone. We have someone journeying through life with us. We are not blindly walking with our hands out, hoping to randomly find some purpose or meaning to life. Christmas is about us being reminded that in God’s infinite love for us, we were given a gift.

You see when Christ was born, it wasn’t just about fulfilling some ancient, Old Testament prophecy. It was more about God fulfilling a promise He made to go to any length to make sure we knew that WE. ARE. NOT. ALONE.

God doesn’t make promises He can’t keep. God doesn’t make promises He won’t keep.

You are not alone.

On that night in Bethlehem, a promise was fulfilled. A new era began. Like a flower blooming in early spring, a new day in God’s pursuit of us began. God’s promise isn’t fulfilled because of anything we do. It’s fulfilled because He chose to fulfill it. Christ was born because God wanted us to know we are not alone. It was before we existed, which means we did nothing to earn it. And we don’t have to do anything to earn it now. It’s a gift.

I have a tendency to attempt to work hard and accomplish much because I am tempted to believe that somehow that makes me “more worthy” of what God did in Christ for me. Which is dangerous. Because it means I think sometimes that I can earn God’s affection. Which is simply false. I can’t earn it. Because it’s already there. My actions should be in response to God’s infinite love for me rather than an attempt to earn that affection.

You are not alone.

There’s nothing you can do to earn Christ being more in love with you. There’s nothing you can do to cause Christ to love you less.
We are chosen by God.

God’s love was shown when He told His son to shed his glory in Heaven, wrap himself in flesh and live a human life among us to show us…

You. are. not. alone.

Read it again.

You are not alone. You are not alone.

God chose you. God loves you. God is with you.

Jesus Christ’s name, Immanuel, quite literally means “God with us.”

You can’t earn it. You can’t change it.

You can choose to ignore it, but you can’t change it.

You are loved.

You’ve been chosen. What you can do, no one else can do.

You are not alone.

Choose to embrace it. It’s scary. It’s requires risk. Because, after all, what if you’re wrong? But you’re not.

It’s worth it… because it’s already been proven, we’re not wrong. Christ’s birth is proof. Christ’s death is proof. We are loved, we are chosen, we are not alone.

Merry Christmas

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