Emmanuel, God with us

two thousand years ago, God chose to come into this world with the cry of a newborn baby wrapped in filthy cloths and lying in a manger.  the God of the universe, who needs nothing, came needy and poor.  He entered our world and there wasn’t even a single room in the inn available for his birth.  Jesus, this miraculous Son of God was not welcome anywhere.  is He any more welcome today than on the day of His birth?  God could reveal Himself anywhere and through anyone…right here, right now.  He could come as a homeless man—would we give Him shelter?  He could come as a starving child—would we feed Him?  He could come as an unwanted, sickly orphan—would we accept Him into our family? would we welcome Him no matter how He came?  would we say yes like Mary did?

as I think about mary in her humility, i am struck by her simple acceptance of God’s plan for her life.  it was something that was radically different from anything she wanted for herself.  but after the angel came to mary and told her that she would give birth to the son of God, she simply said “i am the handmaid of the Lord; may it be unto me according to your word”. she was most likely terrified and confused, but she still said yes. “my soul glorifies the Lord 
and my spirit rejoices in God my savior, 
for he has been mindful 
of the humble state of his servant. 
from now on all generations will call me blessed, 
for the mighty one has done great things for me— holy is His name.”  (Luke 1:46-49) mary was obedient to God and because of her faithfulness and sacrifice, Jesus the son of God was born to redeem this broken world.

i want to keep saying yes to God. no matter what He asks of me, i want to say yes with joyful acceptance that walking on His path is so much better than trying to find my own way.  He leads me over the rocky bumps and rejoices with me when the way is smooth again.  He draws me closer and closer.  and i love what i am finding here in His presence.  so i give Him my whole heart.  my life is His to use for His glory.  i bow down and beg Him to shape me into something beautiful.  oh.my.heart.  the ache is deep this year.  deeper than ever.  He has broken me open and shown me pieces of His redemption through my brokenness. the joy is deeper too.  and there is a richness and fullness of life that I have never before even tasted.  i hunger for more of Him.  more of this tiny baby in the manger.

this wondrous news proclaimed by a sky filled with angels and received by the humble shepherds, is still being sung today.  God whispers into our lives and His voice is louder than what our eyes can see.  His grace calms the stormy waters of our circumstances.  His mercy covers over our pain. just like God looked for a home on this earth thousands of years ago, still today He knocks on the doors of our hearts, waiting for a meek soul who will receive Him. God is still beckoning us to come and see what He has done.  to leave our sheep and run to Him.  to stop in awestruck wonder at this baby, His son, who is our savior.  unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. and His name is wonderful, counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


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