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Celebrating One Night in Bethlehem Day 11

 God With Us

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).

Matthew 1:23; ESV

In a world filled with sickness, starvation, murder, violence, abuse, war, death, and all sorts of other evil it is easy to wonder: Where is God?  When life doesn’t turn out according to our plan it feels like God has abandoned us.

That certainly was true for the nation of Israel.  They were God’s chosen people, but because of their repeated disobedience God abandoned them and allowed them to be conquered by other nations.  Israel lived through a period of exile, and even hundreds of years later , during the time of Jesus, they were still controlled by the Roman Empire.

In the midst of exile God inspired the prophet Isaiah to write a prophecy about a special son.  A son who would show Israel, and the world, that God had not abandoned them.

This is the message that we still need to hear.  Jesus is the evidence that we need to show us God continues to be with us.  Yes, there are tough patches and things don’t always work out the way we would like them to, but God is still at work in this world.

How is God working in this world today?  God is working through the body of Christ.  One of the images of the church is that of the Body of Christ.  A key feature, according to the New Testament, about Christ’s Body is the presence of the Holy Spirit.  God is still with us, working in this world, through the Church.

One cool night in Bethlehem God became a man and dwelt among people.  This event opened the way for Holy Spirit to come and the Church to be established.  These two realities ensure that God continues to be with us throughout the centuries.

Here is the thought for you to consider today: Christmas is the celebration of the reality that God is with us.


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