"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). - Matthew 1:23
The message of Christmas is right here - God is with us. He came to us to be with us. We don’t need to “do” anything to be a Christian, we simply need to receive Him. Being a follower of Christ is allowing Him to live within us, strengthening us to be all that He’s called us to be. When things get difficult, we can know that the very God of the universe, the God who created the mountains and the oceans, He lives in us. The same power who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. He is with us. No matter where we go or what we face, God is with us.
I heard a powerful message preached this Christmas weekend about the “us” in this verse. “Us” is a powerful, evocative word. Hearing the word makes you want to be part of it, whatever it is, it makes you want to belong. The word can even insinuate an exclusion when referencing the “right” kind of people - "us" can make us feel left out. Or it can mean the radical kind of inclusion - that’s the kind of “us” in Matthew. This isn’t for the “right” kind of people, this is for us. You and me. God has not just come for “them”, He has come for us. All of us are welcome at His table.
We need only to look at the genealogy at the beginning of Matthew to see who’s included in the “us” - the people listed are the types sinners who would typically be excluded. There are murderers, adulterers, prostitutes, liars, and thieves - one does not read that list and think Jesus came from exceptional line of humanity. No, Christ entered this world through a stream of broken people just like us. His ancestors were deeply fallen just as we are. When we take the time to read this list, we understand there’s room around the table for anyone, even the unlikely. There are seats available for us. We are all depraved, corrupt, and full of wickedness just as the Jesus’ ancestors. We don’t sit at the table because we’ve done anything to deserve it, we’ve been invited to the table precisely because we don’t deserve it.
Pondering His beautiful gift to all of us this Christmas week, and I am humbly moved by His gracious gift to me. I know I did nothing to deserve His invite, and I can assure you if there is room at His table for me, there is room at His table for you.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists. It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst. Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps! Here is the link:
https://www.gofundme.com/chair4caregivers. Thank you so much!!
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