Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).”
Isaiah 7: 14 (NLT)

“So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Luke 2: 6-7 (NKJV)

Pretty amazing when you stop to think about it.

“God is with us!”

What was God thinking when He inspired Isaiah to write those words seven hundred years ahead, and to proclaim that prophecy to His children of that day, and for those to come.

Words which would be heard again and again through the centuries until that promise was fulfilled on that Heavenly day. A promise we are just days away from celebrating once again.

Words which still echo in our ears and hearts today.

God is with you!

God is with me, too!

Pretty amazing. I can understand that promise for others, but with all my flaws and failures, God is with me, too?

What an awesome thought.

To stop and realize what God prophesied through Isaiah and then caused to happen in a stable, behind an inn, in Bethlehem—God right there, God is with us laying in a dirty, damp, smelly straw-filled manger.

For you, and, yes, even for me.

It’s been difficult, though, at times this year to focus on that thought.

We’ve had so many moments this year disrupting any thought like that. A thought which should be our focus. Disruptions which continue even as we head toward the celebration once again of that moment of “Immanuel.” That incredible, life-changing, miraculous moment of God with us.

Disruptive moments where we watched loved ones suffer from a world-wide surprise in the form of a devastating virus. Where unchecked riots and looting hit too many of our cities’ streets. Where elections around the country have unsettled us all.

Where we wonder at times what has happened to simply doing what is right, and any semblance of integrity and character.

Yet above it all, that awesome thought, that prophecy and promise turned into reality remains true for you and for me—Immanuel, God is with us.

That no matter what we are going through—God is with us.

No matter what someone says about us—God is with us.

No matter the stresses, strains, and failures we experience—God is with us.

No matter the mistakes, regrets and broken promises—God is with us.

No matter the uncertainty and anxiety in the days ahead—God is with us.

What an awesome thought.

And truth—Immanuel.

God is with us. Merry Christmas.

In His Name–Scott