Immanuel- Right Here Right Now!
Some people have been wondering… Where has God been this year? The host of challenges that we have faced has seemed overwhelming at times… and they are still around us now. You could say that we are living in troubled times.
It got me thinking… times were also troubled when Jesus came all those years ago. Israel was under Roman rule. Conditions were hard. Taxes high. Sickness, crippled people. There were those who felt that their hope was crushed or gone.
Enter Jesus… bringing with him something special, God’s love, peace, hope and yes, even joy!
Isn’t this what we are focusing on through Advent, in the lead up to Jesus’ arrival at Christmas?
The Bible tells many stories of how Jesus got alongside others and reminded them that God had not forgotten them. He healed the sick and comforted the lonely. He taught about forgiveness and died and rose again to set people free from sin. He reminded people of how precious they were to God. He shared God’s love, peace, hope and joy with others and told his friends to do the same.
Most importantly, he reassured them with these words:
Jesus said, “And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.” Matthew 28:20b
When we face hard times, it is good to know that we are not alone. It is a big comfort to know that Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is with us right now as 2021 draws to a close.
Even though it has been another tough year, so many wonderful things have happened. People being kind to one another. People helping the sick. People checking on each other to see if they are OK or if they need anything. Smiling faces, grateful for simple things that we once took for granted, like just being together. This looks a lot like a community sharing God’s love when you think about it!
So… two takeaways:
- Where is God? The answer is right here, right now. With us (Immanuel)! To face the challenges and enjoy the blessings that each day brings.
- Think about what Jesus did in the troubled times in his day… Sharing God’s love, peace, hope and joy with others and he told his friends to do the same. We are his friends too!
How might this influence your day today?