Here's my article for the December version of our newsletter, The Westbury Word:
The little boy lay clutching his blanket in the dark, flinching with every clap of thunder, every violent gust of wind. He’d seen thunderstorms before, but somehow the darkness outside—and the way the lightning lit up his room every few seconds--made this one seem scarier. Finally, he got out of bed and padded down the hallway to his parents’ room. “Dad…” he called out in a plaintive voice. The father, disoriented, sat up in bed and asked what was wrong. “I’m scared. Can you come sleep in my room?” A loud sigh. “Son, you’re a big boy. You can sleep by yourself. Besides, don’t you know God is with you? Don’t you know He’ll protect you?” The boy leaned against the door frame, finger pulling nervously on his lower lip. “I know, Dad,” he finally replied. “But right now, I need someone with skin on.”
Can’t we all identify? The good news is that we worship a God who put skin on…theologians call it the doctrine of the Incarnation. Every year at Christmas, we celebrate that moment when our Creator “became what we are that He might make us what He is,” in the words of the early church father Athanasius. God Himself put it best in His prophecy through Isaiah, foretelling of a child who would be born to a virgin and named “Immanuel,” a Hebrew word meaning “God with us.”
This Christmas, we will celebrate Advent at Westbury by focusing on the miracle of Immanuel. We’ll sing songs about our wonderful God, who loved us enough to become one of us—so that He could die for us. And we’ll challenge ourselves to be Immanuel—God with skin on—in our relationships with people who don’t know Him.
Speaking of which, all of us know people who need Jesus. Christmas is one of the best times to invite them to church. Pray that God would open doors for you to share your faith with these friends and neighbors. Invite them to WBC this Christmas so that they can meet and experience Immanuel.