The kids and I have been reading through the beginnings of the Gospels these past few mornings leading up to Christmas.
It's a story that I've listened to a hundred times before, but this morning the words in Matthew spoke directly to my heart.
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means "God with us". ~ Matthew 1:23
All-powerful, all-creating, all-controlling. The One who holds the oceans in His hand. The One who paints the sunset. The One who knows the intricacies of every living thing. The One who saved the world.
This unfathomable wonder, b
rought down to the earth.
Tangible. Human. Alive. With us.
He came to save us. But first he walked, talked, laughed and cried. He came to demonstrate his love not just by dying for us, but by living with us. Modeling love, compassion and peace. He didn't just preach into a megaphone, He actively reached out to us, showing us we were made for more. He held the children. He went outside the city walls and healed the lepers. He sat and listened to the heart cries of the oppressed.
In the midst of Christmas festivities happening this December, the heart of our world is still breaking. Everywhere you look people are searching for peace.
Some have given into loneliness. Some have lost all faith.
Insecurity and inadequacy trump trust and satisfaction. Every day I catch myself trying to 'fix' it. But how? Or rather, what exactly am I fixing? The list is never ending. We're longing for a cure for the pain or a rest from the wearisome track we're on. Each and every person strives for power or justice... or striving simply to be heard.
But the Bible promises that our God is WITH us. Assurance that we are seen. Assurance that we aren't alone. That means He hears us. He comforts us. He saves us.
His name alone, Immanuel, is the answer that every soul on this earth is looking for in the here and now. Just as he offered His presence to us in a humble stable that very first Christmas night, so His love permeates through the walls we put up, and saves each heart that is open to Him. The love He offers here and now is the best gift that could ever, has ever, and will ever be received.
What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? ~Romans 8:31-32
May we all be reminded of the truth of these words this Christmas... Not only is God with us, He is FOR us. An assurance that can never be denied or declined. May the promise of His presence be evident to us not just today but until we see Him someday face to face.