As the year draws to a close, reminders of Christmas are all across our communities. It’s a time of great celebration, but for some people across our country, it may be hard to celebrate because 2019 has been so very difficult.
Severe drought is biting hard in many regions, and with that, comes incredible pain and hardship. Devastating bushfires have done so much damage to people and properties in recent months. Unemployment has been a heavy weight on a lot of Australians; and added to that is the very painful personal life experiences many people have had to navigate.
The big question is, what’s God’s response to our human condition with all its challenges?
It’s what and who we celebrate at Christmas: God’s Son, who is called Emmanuel.
We can read about how it was announced it in the New Testament. “Listen! A virgin will be pregnant, she will give birth to a Son, and he will be known as ‘’Emmanuel’, which means in Hebrew, ‘God became one of us’.” (Matthew1:23 TPT)
Jesus did not come as an angel, nor as a fully formed, perfect adult – He came as a vulnerable baby. He wasn’t born in a palace, but a stable. He experienced every human emotion and situation. This is why the Bible tells us that He can empathise with and relate to us in all our challenges.
No matter how life is treating us, it is reassuring to know that there is a God who understands and loves us. He is with us.
As we go into this Christmas season, let’s be strengthened knowing God is with us, and perhaps take a moment to pray for and bless those who are doing it tough in the spirit of Emmanuel – God with us.