Reflections

Thoughts as we approach Christmas – God is with us

‘Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.’ (Isaiah 7:14)

This promise was made over 700 years earlier to King Ahaz in Judah before it was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus at the first Christmas (Matthew 1:23). However, the promise of ‘God with Us’ was as relevant to Ahaz, as it is to us today. He was facing the military threat of Syria and Israel invading his country and Isaiah calls upon him not to panic or be afraid, but to trust in God, who is in control of the situation.

For us, Christmas often highlights the difficulties that we face in our lives, e.g. the stress of preparing and entertaining family and friends; the financial or other pressures of putting on a good Christmas; a time when we find ourselves alone or facing our first Christmas without a loved one. The message of Immanuel is the same for us! We don’t need to panic or be afraid, because the baby born in Bethlehem reminds us that God really does care:

God is for us and with us.  He is on our side and by our side. He’s not against us and we are never alone.

God is for us: everything will work out according to His plan. Our lives are not just a series of random events or mistakes.

God is with us: when others show they are not, by what they think or do.

God is with us: circumstances may change, but God will strengthen us in the midst of them all.

God is with us:  He isn’t far away but has made the journey into our world. This is the heart of the Christmas message, once we get past the trees, gifts, turkey stuffing and pudding!

Thoughts from Les with quotes from The Rev Paul Hardingham

There was no room for Him (Luke 2:6-7)

There is no room. In a world full of grasping, acquiring and keeping of rights and demanding and self-centred living,

there is no room for Him, the Child who is God.
The world is full. And yet…without Him,

without Jesus, this full world is empty.

Make room. Invite Him in.

Make room.  Find life in all the fullness
Christmas offers –
Love and hope and joy and peace. Emmanuel,

God with us and in us, always.

Make room!

by Daphne Kitching