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December 6, 2023

Dear Church of the Open Bible,

Yesterday, our eight-year-old, Witt, told me that he wanted to camp in the backyard. He wants to set up a tent and get some sleeping bags set up. His siblings were welcome. But after he told me all the planning, he confessed, “But once it gets dark, I’ll just come inside to sleep because it’ll be too scary.” This would be a bit of a problem, I told him, because it gets dark at 5:00pm these days. And he replied with, “Well, if you and mom were sleeping in the tent, I’d stay in there all night.” It was a sweet invite.

Being in the presence of certain people can change things about us. We can become more confident, less confident; more kind, less kind; more excited, less excited. Who we are with changes us. Moses knew this when he appealed for God to go with them from Sinai, after the incident with the golden calf. 

“Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”  - Exodus 33:16b

Moses knew that the Lord’s presence made all the difference for him and the people of Israel. He also knew that the Lord removing His presence from them would be disastrous. This is why Christmas is so special. It is the gift of God’s presence to humanity through Jesus Christ. And for those trusting in Him, Jesus’ presence with us, changes us. It is not that the nights won’t be dark, but that it won’t only be night. May we be encouraged and praise God for the gift of His presence this week.