The turkey’s eaten, the tree is up…. the Christmas season is fully here! For the next few weeks, our Sunday morning messages will be looking at the topic of “God with us”…. A name the Old Testament prophet Isaiah used for Jesus while He was here with us on earth as a baby in a manger, a young man, and ultimately as our Savior. He was fully, eternally God but also fully human, which allowed Him to experience all the joys and sorrows, highs and lows that we do, so we never have to doubt that He understands what we’re going through.
This year has had some pretty amazing mountaintop highs as well as some very deep, dark valley lows in my life, and I am confident I am far from alone in that. We often find God in deep, rich ways in those highs and lows- when we run to him in extreme grief or fear or uncertainty, when we dance with Him in incredible joy and thankfulness, we often have an acute awareness of His presence, sorrowing or rejoicing with us, comforting or encouraging us as needed. It can be easier in some ways to have that sense of His arms around us, of His face, turned toward us, in the extremes of our human experience. But one thing I have learned this year in some new ways is that He is just as present, just as WITH us, in the level fields and roadways in between those mountains and valleys. When it’s a Thursday morning and I have laundry
and paperwork and nothing more exciting than waiting for the mail to arrive. When it’s a Saturday afternoon with nothing more challenging than deciding what to thaw for dinner and whether we need to stop for gas in the morning. When the routine, the mundane, the get-up-and-do-it-all-over-again days start to feel a little empty and pointless when we long for a little excitement or wish for that intense experience of the last mountaintop. When blessings look a little dull. When we have a dozen listless excuses not to meet with God in the morning yet again and pray the same prayers yet again. Our moods shift, our circumstances change, our passion wanes, our hunger for God wavers, but He stays steadfastly near us, singing over us, speaking in that still small voice that He loves us and wants to walk every step of our journey with us. He wants to be God with us!
As we shop and wrap and sing and feast this Christmas season, let’s be intentional in acknowledging God’s presence in every moment, good, bad or in between. If you’ve never experienced His presence and would like to know more, we invite you to contact us via email, our Facebook page, or join us for Sunday morning service at 10am each week as we dive into this series.
“Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his
love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1:23