ImmanuelHow many times can we see a baby in a manger before it is just another baby in a manger? Sometimes the baby we see is way too big to be a newborn. Other times the baby is clearly plastic and can be seen for the fake it is even from the back row of the Christmas pageant.

But the baby that was in the manger that night in Bethlehem was a real as they come. God in flesh, ensconced in raw humanity. The creator of heaven and earth became creation on earth. The power that was displayed when the words were spoken “let their be light” became both the “Word” and the “Light of the world.” As Mary’s water broke, she gave birth to the “living water” and by him all who are thirsty may come and drink from the deep well that is the Messiah.

Immanuel, God with us…that is our theme for December. Immanuel, God with us, not just 2000 years ago, but also today. Not only is Jesus with us here as he promised he would be (Matthew 28:20) but we are with him (Eph 2:6).

While we reflect back on the incarnate God we are reminded that our vision not only looks back to “Immanuel” but it also looks forward to “Maranatha”…Come Lord Jesus…that just as he came before, he will come again when all things will be made new and very good (Rev 21:5), just as they were in the beginning.

My prayer for you, dear reader, is that as we close out one year and move into the next that your love for God and for others will grow, that you mind, will and heart will become more and more entangled into the depths of the very mind, will and heart of God and that we can continue to walk in the light because of the gracious blood of our savior.

Just as God has richly blessed each one of us through the coming of Christ, may each one of us embody the incarnation of Christ in the world to richly bless someone else.