The holidays are over. You’ve made it through the crazy Christmas festivities. You’ve rang in the New Year (and a new decade). Now all eyes are on what this year will hold for each of us.
Over the past few weeks, many of us were likely excited for presents, for family, for Christmas Ham. But there are also others who likely experienced a less-than-exciting Christmas.
What are some reasons people might feel lonely, especially at this time of year?
At some point in our lives, each of us experiences loneliness.
Take a moment and reflect. Think about a time you had to face a difficult moment or challenge alone. If so, how did you get through it? How could the presence of God or others have helped you?
The opposite of loneliness is experiencing the presence of someone else, though sometimes we might still feel lonely even when we are around others. I imagine it has to be difficult to be lonely in the presence of God.
Do you think you’ve ever experienced God’s presence? What was that experience like?
John, one of Jesus’ disciples and closest friends, experienced God’s presence very intimately. For more than 3 years, he went everywhere that Jesus did. He ate with Jesus, he camped out at people’s houses with Jesus, he even stayed at the cross until Jesus’ last breath. He wrote 21 chapters of his experience of God’s presence.
Right off the bat, he writes this in John 1:14: “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
Who or what is “the Word,” and what does this verse tell you about who God is?
“The Word” (in Greek, ο λογος; pronounced “ha log-os”) is this idea in Greek philosophy that there’s a divine reason that is present in the universe, ordering it and giving it form and meaning. It is everything that makes the universe function the way that it’s supposed to. Gravity, star formation, even cell division in your body are all due to “The Word.” And John says that all of this reason, order, and meaning became flesh.
Paul explained it like this in Colossians 1:14-17:
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.”
So Jesus, who has always existed as The Word, became human, like you and me. And even when everything is falling apart, he is still able to hold us together and fill our lives full of unfailing love and faithfulness. We might not be able to understand all of that deeper theology, but what we can understand is this:
Above everything else, God wants us to fully experience his presence.
Because Jesus doesn’t leave us in our loneliness, who is someone else who needs to be reminded that they’re not alone? What can you do to be more present in their life this year?
Here’s an encouraging thought: You might be the strongest example of the presence of Christ in their life.
Is there anything challenging happening in your life right now? If so, share it with some friends and family that you trust, and ask them to pray for you.
What are the best ways you can be present in someone’s life? Leave a comment below!