God With Us
December 13, 2021
From Pastor Joe
It was a week before Christmas, and two young boys-ages 7 and 5 were spending the night at their Grandmother’s house. They had spent the day playing in the snow, making snow angels and helping Grandpa shovel the sidewalk. Then in the evening, they had a wonderful dinner and helped Grandma with some of her holiday baking.
Finally, after a long day, it was time for bed. When they had taken their baths and gotten into their pajamas, the two boys both knelt beside the bed to say their prayers. The youngest one prayed first. At the top of his lungs, he shouted, “Dear God, I pray for a new bicycle. You know my old one is falling apart and it is too small. I am not a little kid anymore-I am a big boy now and need a bigger bike. Also God, you know I need a few more games for my X Box. I am bored with the ones I have. And I would like to have a new basketball.”
The way he was shouting, it nearly scared his older brother to death. Finally, his older brother elbowed him and said, “Why are you shouting, God isn’t deaf! He hears your prayers, whether you say them loud or soft.” The little brother opened up one eye and looked at him and said, “I know God isn’t deaf-but Grandma is hard of hearing and she’s way out in the kitchen!” The cute little tike was smart enough to want to “share” his list of “prayers”, as much with Grandma as with God.
It is a challenge to keep the Christmas season about “the joy of giving” when all around us-are things meant to make us desire stuff for ourselves. The ads, the internet, the billboards, the sales, the stores-it is overwhelming.
So here is something for you to unwrap this year-if you must unwrap something. Unwrap this mind blowing idea: 2000 years ago, God sent His Son Jesus to this earth so we could see and experience God in the flesh-Immanuel-“God with us”. He came to this earth and was “wrapped in swaddling clothes”. And He invite us to come to the manger again-anew.
As we unwrap this gift of God’s Love for ourselves, we shall find that He offers us Life, He offers us Love, and He offers us Himself. He comes to give us everything our hearts truly desire-love, peace, joy, goodness, mercy. He lived among us in our life so we could come to have His Life.
Shirts wear out, get too small or go out of style. Video games get old and boring. Even bicycles need to be replaced. But the Love of God is eternal and will last forever.
My prayer for you this year is: that you are surrounded by people who know you and love you. That you may sense God calling you closer, that you will serve Him with glad tidings and feel your heart fill with vitality and joy, and then may you help unwrap His love for someone else.