God is with us!

Merry_christmas_jesus-4
She will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel — ‘God is with us.’ – Isaiah 7:14

This is the time of year we mark with celebrations of the birth of Jesus.   When the angel came to Joseph, he was told that Mary would give birth to a son and they were to name him Jesus, which means “The Lord saves” and then proceeds to tell Joseph that this fulfills the prophecy from Isaiah 7.  So here we have two names for Jesus, his given name meaning “the Lord saves” and one of the titles that he will be known as, Immanuel, “God is with us”

When God is with us, who can come against us.  Many will try, but the Lord saves us.

The Lord saves us from our sins, because God is with us.

The Lord blesses us, so we can be a blessing to others.  Why?  Because God is with us!

The Lord comforts those in need.  How?  Well God is with them.

The Lord uses circumstances to teach us, to help us grow.  When?   Always, since God is with us.

The Lord gives us freedom when we walk with him.   How?  Well, because God is with us!

Remember this time of year that God is with us, always, that’s the promise that Jesus gives us.

Is there room for Jesus in your life?

Jesus_in_manger_postcard_1910What a busy time of year this is.  From Thanksgiving to Christmas, our lives our filled with activities.  Christmas parties, school activities and programs, shopping, football playoffs and the beginning of bowl season.  So much to do, it’s amazing that we can cram it all in before the end of the month and still come out with our sanity.  We often cram so much in that we forget what the season is all about.  We forget that we are celebrating the birth of Christ.

No room at the inn

…and she gave birth to her first born, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  -Luke 2:7

Luke says there was no room at the inn.  We are really given no indication of why the inn was so crowded other than perhaps people traveling back to Bethlehem to register as decreed by Caesar, but I can imagine an inn full of people.  And when people get together, they tend to eat and drink.  Essentially, I can imagine a party going on.  Old friends who hadn’t seen each other in a long time, family members who only came together at times like this.   Food and drink in abundance and people partaking of it until the wee hours of the morning; singing, dancing and making a ruckus….all supposition, but it sounds a lot like some of our Christmas parties we attend.

I can imagine (I have a good imagination sometimes) the scene playing out something like this.

A man and his very pregnant young wife who is very obviously in labor, walk through the front door of the inn while a huge celebration is going on.  Imagine everyone stopping and staring for a moment;  and then returning to whatever they were doing at the moment.  

The young man walks up to the guy that appears to be in charge and asks; “Please sir, my wife is about to give birth.  Do you have a room?”

The innkeeper, looking cautiously at Joseph asks, “What is your name?  Where are you from?”

Joseph replies, “I’m Joseph a carpenter from Nazareth, and this is my wife Mary.”

The innkeeper looking at them with a slight bit of disgust, “Nazareth, I’ve never heard of anything good coming from there.  We have no room for you here, but you can go to the stables and stay with the animals if you’d like.”

So that’s what they do.  Now of course, I’m not sure if this is exactly how it all went down, we’re never really told.  But, we know that Jesus was born in a manger, a lowly place, a place fit for animals.  But that’s where Jesus came into this world.

Do we send Jesus to the stables in our lives?

Are we rejecting Christ because our lives our too busy?  Are we telling Jesus to take a back seat in this season, because we have too many parties and get togethers to attend?  It’s all pretty ironic really considering, we wouldn’t even have a holiday like this if it wasn’t for the birth of Jesus, yet we tell him, “There’s no room here for you, you can go out back and stay there and I’ll check in on you when I get a chance.”

I think this is a time to celebrate.  It is a great time to get together with family and friends.  I just hope that I can remember who we are celebrating this time of year and invite him with me to the parties.  In fact, I hope He is the reason we are getting together and we can all remember that this season.  I for one can use this reminder this season as I can definitely get caught up in the lights, the color and the activities.  I will use this as a reminder, to invite Jesus in with me instead of sending him out to the manger of my life.