Emmanuel

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Emmanuel.  God with us.

Why would He want to be with us?  It’s not because we are such good company.  It couldn’t be our gracious hospitality or our deep humility or our complete unselfishness.  None of that.

The depths of our sin drove us from the Edenic garden and separated us from a holy God who made the world in all it’s beauty just for us.  And we took His gift and desecrated it.

All the while, He had a plan to redeem us back to Himself because He knew the price was too high and we are too poor.  Our attempt at being good enough is just dirty, pitiful, unacceptable.  So He offered Himself an acceptable offering.  Totally pure.  Completely holy.  Innocent as a newborn babe.

He came to us, to be one of us, to be like us.  Subjecting Himself to the frail skin and bone and blood and guts of this sin-ugly life so He could give us the gift of eternal life.  God walking around in flesh.  Among us.  Living like us.  Rubbing shoulders with us.

It is the gift of Christmas.

We can look at that gift and say it’s not for me, not the right size, not what I really wanted.  We can reject the gift and the Giver if we choose.  He gave us that gift also, the gift of choosing Him.  Or not.

But the truth is still the truth, the way, and the light.  He is Emmanuel.  God with us.

He is God with us in our celebrations and joyous events.  He is with us in our longings, our disappointments, our hopes and dreams.

God with us in all our wanderings and our looking for Eden.

God with us in our infections and pain and suffering.

God with us in the hospital surgery unit and the waiting rooms.

God with us in our wondering if life will last one more day.

God with us when we face death squarely and try to do life without the one dearly loved.

God with us in separations and divorce and families broken apart.

God with us in our tears and longings for something different.

God with us in our healing and rebirth and joyful surrender and willing sacrifice.

He brings peace to rule over our chaos.  Counsel to our confusion.  Mighty strength to our weakness.  Everlasting life to replace death.  He invites us to call Him Father. He is Wonderful!  He is Emmanuel.

God with us. Fear not for He brings with Him good tidings of great joy!  He is with us . . .

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