Jesus came to the earth, as God with Us- fully God and fully man. As Jesus walked the earth He gave hope and healing. He then gave His life and took the punishment for the sins of all humanity. Being short sighted, the Disciples were distraught thinking that Jesus was no longer with them. But was He gone? No, He was still God with us, though He died, he arose three days later, returning to them in a glorified body.
Hope and joy again. He walked and talked with them for forty days. Then He said he was leaving again. Really? Again that feeling of desperation came upon them. But He said,
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
And He did. Jesus sent His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and He never left us again. He is truly with us at all times.
Let me repeat. He is with us all the time. He is just as much with us now as He was when He walked the earth with Peter, James, John, His family, and perhaps even more so.
One of the mistakes of modern times is that we think God is not here simply because we don’t see Him. On the contrary, God is with us constantly. He is as present as the objects you see before your eyes now. We don’t question the existence of microwave radiation or UV waves. The same could be said of gravity, wind, and other scientific phenomenon. We see evidence of their effects, are told they are real and that is enough for us. God moves among us, we sense His spirit and see Him do great works in the hearts and lives of men, yet we often doubt or forget He is truly with us at this very moment.
This idea of God being with us was first introduced to me as a young Catholic girl. Every week I would attend CCD- Catholic Catechism and Doctrine class after school at my local parish of Saint Thomas Aquinas of South Philadelphia. I was astounded when the lay teacher told me that Jesus lived within my heart. I asked, “Really? He lives within my heart…my heart?” and tapped my chest. She said “Yes, your heart, right here” and pointed at my chest. I was so surprised and shocked and overjoyed! What an idea!
He lives within my heart! He is present. God with us- He’s right here, right now.
This means that He can speak to us and guide us all the time. He is here for a reason. He is not here to be quiet. He is here to guide, comfort, and give wisdom and power. He will speak to us on a daily basis, too, if you would just listen and believe. As a woman leading ministry, a middle school teacher and a mom of teenaged sons I find it invaluable to listen to the voice of God in regards to daily decisions. His presence makes my burdens light, and my work and ministry are successful only because of His leadership in my life. He guides and comforts. I just couldn’t do life without His presence in my life. I speak to Him and look for His guidance, and He answers through the still small voice in my heart.
As we celebrate this Christmas season, let’s remember the reason we are celebrating: because He is in our lives. He has redeemed us to bring us back to Him. Why would He then leave us? No, He is here. He is now. He is truly God with Us.
Joy to the world. The Lord has come! Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room.
One of the things that really bother me sometimes is silence- silence about the hard things: those difficult and controversial topics that we see and hear around us.
When Jesus walked the earth, He did not shy away from the hard things. Why do we?
Humanity needs the church to step up and address such things. Not in a judgmental way, but lovingly and truthfully. Yes, the Bible has already addressed these things but not everyone reads or understands it in it’s correct context, right? So as leaders, ministers and scholars in the church we need to bring the truth to the forefront. We need to talk about things and behaviors that are hurting people, destroying families and killing our culture. We can’t be shy. We can’t be quiet.
Why are we quiet? Why do we more often talk about the things that are less important? Maybe, just maybe, this is why some of our churches are empty, or ineffective.
If we love others we will warn them of dangers ahead, right? If someone is walking off a cliff won’t we try to stop them? Should we say…
“If you want to do it who am I to judge.”
“It’s not my business.”
“I can’t talk about that.”
“I don’t have time.”
“They will be angry.”
“If I say something then they would know… I did the same thing.”
Why are we quiet? Good question. Any answers?
Lord, help us address the hard things. Make us speak up. Make us shout the dangers ahead, especially if we have already been there and know truly how bad it is. Help us save our children, our neighborhoods, our communities. Our world.
Thank you, Lord. With your help we can talk about the hard things. Give us strength and wisdom and the power of Your might and Word. Amen!