Jesus' resurrection and ascension for the early apostles meant the start of a new age. As promised in Joel, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the believers and the traditional way of view religion had changed. Since this new age would fully break forth when Jesus returned, the apostles rushed forth to spread the news before his return. Many of the early churches where formed with the expectation that Jesus' return was imminent. As the years passed, however, it became harder to maintain the original excitement and enthusiasm. People who came together because of faith now had to live with each other as this new "Body of Christ" or "Family of God". The letters to these new churches often included words of encouragement while Jesus' return was delayed. In this closing of Philippians, Paul encourages them to hold on to their original joy for "The Lord is near". After nearly 2000 years of waiting, the church is still called to renew that original excitement and enthusiasm as we remember Jesus' birth. It is during Christmas, the birth of Emmanuel, that we are remind that the Lord is still near.