Emmanuel, God With Us!!
2020 has been a crazy year, a year of uncertainty, fear, and isolation for many. Let’s put on our 2020 lens and think about the first Christmas when Jesus was born. I imagine some of the characters in the first Christmas story dealt with uncertainty, fear, and isolation as well.
Mary and Joseph were both told by Angels that this baby would be God’s son. Can you imagine being tasked with raising God’s son? I know as a parent I feel inadequate many times, I can’t imagine how inadequate you would feel raising God’s son! Uncertainty and fear are evident in both of their stories when you read the accounts in Matthew and Luke. They choose to trust God, they believe what God said, yet in their culture, they would have been looked upon with disdain as others did not know what God’s plan was or wouldn’t believe it. (The same is true today, trusting God, following God is not always popular with those around us.) Yes, they believed the Angel, but I am sure being human like all of us, the uncertainty of it all was scary and I am sure they felt very isolated culturally.
Fast forward to the night of Jesus’ birth, the first Christmas when there was not even room for them anywhere but the stable. Of course, no one else knew that it was Jesus being born, they did not know the significance of that night and how it would be celebrated every year as we do now, but can you imagine not giving up your bed for a mom in labor? This is Mary and Joseph’s first baby and they are all alone in a stable. Talk about uncertainty, fear, and isolation!
Then Jesus was born. Emmanuel, God with us. I imagine all those fears melting away as they held Jesus for the first time. Sure, the path ahead was uncertain, but God was with them. They would experience more isolation ahead in life, but God was with them.
And just to let them know they were not alone, he sent angels to the shepherds and shepherds to be their visitors that night.
The shepherds were also isolated, it was a lonely life. They were not considered valuable in that culture, they were not included in the community. They were isolated. Yet, the angels proclaimed to them while they were isolated, they were not alone, Jesus had come!
Emmanuel, God is with you! This is as true for us today as it was to all of them. Our prayer for you during this year of uncertainty and isolation is that you will experience that truth in a new way!
There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! Romans 8:39 The Passion Translation
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20 NIV
I am the light of the World! -Jesus (John 8:12)
Bev and Michelle
608-987-1511 / firstname.lastname@example.org (Please let us know if you have any prayer requests!)
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