Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_-_The_Tower_of_Babel_(Vienna)_-_Google_Art_Project_-_edited.jpg

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us)." - Matthew 1:23

For as long as humanity has been around, we have been trying to reach heaven. So much so that in Genesis people tried to build a literal tower "with its top in the heavens" (Gen 11:4). 

The earth is full of religions with tenants and laws that man must follow in order to ascend to God. With enough good deeds and right behavior, you can earn your way up another tier towards the top of the tower of babel.  In Buddhism you gain merit to attain enlightenment through mantras, meditations and devotion to deities. Hinduism is focused on enlightenment through yoga, meditation, pilgrimages and living well. In Islam you outweigh your bad deeds with good ones: ritual prayer, pilgrimages, fasting, attending mosque services and not drinking alcohol or eating meat. The theme goes on and on in all the religions you come across. Man is broken. Man works hard. If man works hard enough he gets to heaven (whatever that religion's version is). 

Most Christians operate by this mindset too. But real Christianity is different. We do not have a God who sits up on his haughty throne looking down at us angrily, arms crossed, frustrated that we have not ascended to him successfully. He is not like Santa Claus, checking his list twice to see who is naughty or nice.

Instead, God flipped the script on religion, breaking our misconceptions about what God thinks about us, and how we get to heaven. Rather than us needing to build a tower to get to him, he came to us. He loved the world so much, that he came, and there is nothing we can do to earn his love. There are no stairs to climb and no steps to count to reach our goal. There is no tower to build. He came; the deed is done. We no longer need to strive towards heaven because, like Jesus said to so many, "the kingdom of heaven is here" (Mk 1, Mt 3,4,10).

This is what we celebrate this Christmas: the good news that the deed is done, and now God is with us. All that is left to do is believe, sing, thank him, and to follow him. Let's spread our Christmas cheer for all to hear: God is not far away, he came! 

I invite you to listen to this song "King of Heaven" by Hillsong United and focus your worship towards our King who came to us: 

You tore the night apart
And ripped the silent skies in half
Your glory breaking through the dark

And here our worlds collide
Divinity in man confined
This great design drawn out for me

Immanuel
God with us
Immanuel
Hallelujah

You hold the ends of time
Yet placed Yourself here into mine
My life is now forever changed

Our eyes be lifted up
Our great eternal hope arise
This great design drawn out for me

Immanuel
God with us
Immanuel
Hallelujah

In our silence
Heaven whispered out
In our darkness
Glory pierced the night

We were broken
But now we're lifted up
King of heaven
God is here with us

Hallelujah
Angels crying aloud
Singing holy
All the praise resound

King of Heaven
On the Earth be found
King of Heaven
On the Earth be found

Immanuel
God with us
Immanuel
Hallelujah