“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
Matthew 1:23, NIV*
In the past few weeks, three people have lost parents or spouses, two have received bad medical news, and another is suddenly out of work. And these are just the ones I know! News coverage expands that list dramatically.
What’s the first thing we say? “It shouldn’t happen at Christmas.”
We have this instinctive sense that Christmas is about good news, not about pain. Some of that’s spiritual—the angels came proclaiming the wonder of God with us. Some of it’s human—remembering childhood’s warm anticipation of presents and surprises.
In the midst of the celebrations, pain happens.
Maybe that’s not so bad. The pain reminds us why Jesus came.
Let’s be sensitive to those who are suffering while the culture wants them to be smiling. Last week’s devotional thought was about “faithfully administering God’s grace” and one way we can do that is to bring God with us into every encounter. May His grace in us bring comfort and a sense of peace.
Father, I praise and thank You for the gift of Your presence. Jesus—Emanuel—God with us. Because You are with us, we are not consumed. Because You have rescued us, we have hope. Let us live in You and share Your presence with those around us.