God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. ~ Isaac, a Mennonite Pastor
You will have to excuse me if I have posted this song, God With Us, by Todd Agnew before. It is one of my favorites, so I watch for videos that use its lyrics. Plus, many artists have used scenes from The Nativity so I get confused on what I have shared where. : )
A wordle expresses this Biblical truth, God With Us.
So, as a pastor, as a seeker....I hold both. The despair and the pain along with the truth as found in scripture, Immanuel, God with us.
In his Advent sermon, Pastor Isaac uses two edgy quotes of a monk by the name of Sebastian Moore that give me thoughts to consider as I struggle with the tension of what I see and the truth I read.
Christ is present to us insofar as we are present to one another. It’s a call to receive God’s love from one another, and to be present, to make Christ’s love available—to wait, and watch, and hope that Christ will come in and through us.The second challenge of Moore's:
...look forward to the point when the whole mystery of God will be known in the clasp of your brother [or sister’s] hand. But when we feel those hands, as we pass the peace, we must also remember that the One we worship has holes in his hands. Yes, Christ has come to us, but he is also standing with holes in his hands, awaiting our discovery.(sigh...) Discovering Immanuel, God with Me, in the messiness, the pain, the discomfort of life.
I am certain I have journaled (verses just "thinking" it) that I believe we, the Church, tend to sugar coat, to romanticize, the Christmas story. My prayer has been that during this season of waiting, Advent, I might look deeper into this familiar story with all its familiar characters and discover Immanuel in a new way.
Many Blessings ~ Sandi