Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Advent Reflections - November 30


“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 


Immanuel, God with us. To read these words is to know the quintessential truth of Advent. To believe in a God that is not far off and aloof but literally with us, is to rest in the fact that we are never alone. In fulfillment of the words of Isaiah the Prophet, God conceived his one and only Son in a young virgin woman from a little obscure town in ancient Palestine. Christ would be born into the world through the vessel of a human being, just as each and every one of us. God truly with us. In divine mystery; completely God and yet completely man. Why is it then that we sometimes feel so alone during the holidays?

Let’s face it. The Christmas holidays are not always an easy time. It’s common for feelings of loneliness and depression to increase during this time of year, causing many of us to feel anything but “joyful and triumphant”. When family gatherings, parties and festivities increase, unfortunately sometimes so do painful emotions. Even when surrounded by the people we love the most, the stressful pace of the holidays can make any of us feel isolated and alone.  
It is in these times that we must reach for and cling to the most central message of Advent: Through the birth of Christ, God lives and dwells with us today. The sign was given over 2000 years ago, we have seen it come to pass, and we rejoice in the reality of knowing that it is true. Immanuel!  God with us! 

God, may our hope lie in the truth that we are never alone. Let us rest in the knowledge that you are with us. You have been. You are. You will forever be.

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