Matthew 1: 21 – 23 “ She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). NLT
We have spent a lot of time this year learning about Jesus and now the Advent season is upon us. Advent is a time of year for the people of God to remember that the God we worship is a God who was willing to become like us, to be one of us. Our church season of Advent grants us space at the beginning of our Christian year to remember and to anticipate the One who is the Messiah.
“But come on. Who has time for Advent? There are gifts to buy, bills to pay, obligatory visits to make, overtime hours to clock, and end of the year reports to complete. For many, it is a time for parties, recitals, concerts, and any Christmasy event that the culture deems “en vogue” this year.” – Robin Wilson, God Is With Us.
I could not get away from the notion that something was missing this year. Jesus, the incarnate God, has been missing from our daily lives and our notion to make a difference in the lives of others. How could our Christmas season look different if we were to come to the realization that Jesus IS the embodiment of God being with us. We look at our world and our lives and we might wonder where God is in all of this. God is and always has been with us. From the moment Mary was given the message that she was going to give birth to the Son of God, the world began to look and work differently.
How can we take this truth, that God is in our midst, and dwell on what it means for us, so that we can change how the world looks at Him? Is it possible for us to glean through Scripture and see a God who was willing to die for us because He loved us so much? I pray that through the Advent season we are not marked by Christmas lights, fancy decorations, and expensive gifts, but that we will engage in the God who was willing to be with us so that we might love Him and others. God is with us!
– Pastor Mike