Good News – Immanuel, God With Us

Daniel Weatherby December 23, 2020

Each evening during devotions, our counselors ask 2 questions to their cabin: 

Where do you see yourself in the story?

What is the good news?

As I’ve been reflecting on the story of the the birth of Jesus, with all of the possible implications, interpretations, and meaning for this year, I’ve found it best to go to these two simple & profound questions.










Matthew 1:18-23

 

18Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

 

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 

 

24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Where do you see yourself in the story?

Joseph. He has always seemed secondary (or even tertiary) to the story – a side-note to focus on Mary, and get to Jesus.

But this year, I see myself in Joseph. He’s a man with plans, aspirations, love in his heart. And, his expectations are not fulfilled. His situation changes. Our situations have changed too in 2020, requiring new plans, flexibility, and a need to walk with love.

I share more of my thoughts on Joseph in a Morning watch on Love for the 4th week of advent.

Where do you see yourself in the story?


What is the Good News?

Immanuel. God with Us.

It has been a helpful, healing practice to take time remembering all the ways in which God has been with me and my community this year.

Immanuel in the dedication and sacrifice of those in the medical community.

Immanuel in a loving, hard-working community whose flexibility allows this work to continue.

Immanuel in the lives of parents who balance an ever-changing landscape of family schedules.

Immanuel in students who have had to source a new endurance to understand the world around them, and find fun regardless of circumstance.

Immanuel in teachers – who go above and beyond each and every year. Even moreso this year, with new risks and challenges.

Immanuel with the sick, and those who have had to navigate hardship far from loved ones.

Immanuel with the healthy, who have awakened to a new responsibility of community care.

Immanuel in long-awaited conversations on how we love, respect, and value one another.

Immanuel in neighbors, learning to recognize smiles above masks, and return them.

 

What is the good news for you?

 


I pray you’ve experienced Immanuel this year.

And I pray we get to experience God with us together in 2021.

 

 

Daniel Weatherby

Assistant Director

 

 

 

 

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