No Matter What is Happening …
When Matthew introduces the birth of Jesus, it is the name announced by the prophet Isaiah which he shares with us — Immanuel. “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, “God with us.” Matt 1:23
We sometimes romanticize the times surrounding Jesus’ birth, painting them as wonderful times. More likely they were a mixture of terrific and tragic experiences for many. What are the circumstances surrounding you this Christmas? Is life the best its ever been for you? Has this year introduced you to exciting opportunities, deeper relationships, greater success? Perhaps you’re facing particular challenges in your health or finances or future. Maybe its a mixture of all that and more.
Whatever our circumstance, the news that “God is with us” is the one promise that introduces us to more hope and joy than we might otherwise believe possible! Brother Lawrence, writing some three hundred years ago, offers the following insight in his book, The Practice of the Presence of God — “Although we seek and love God because of the blessings He has given us…let us not stop there. These blessings, as great as they are, will never carry us as near to Him as a simple act of faith does in a time of need or trouble.”
Immanuel means that no matter what has happened, is happening or will happen in our lives, God has, is, and forever will be with us, giving us his power to face all difficulties, his peace in which to rest in times of exhaustion, and his purpose to motivate us each day. That is why Mary sang her song and the shepherds left their fields and the magi followed the path of the star until they found and worshipped Jesus, the Christ.
This Advent may the great and lasting news of “Immanuel” brighten and bless your life! May it lead you to the wonder of God’s love and inspire you to celebrate this miraculous season with us, at Markham Baptist.