Looking for Immanuel in the Christmas that Almost Isn’t

  • When sparkling lights are only beeps and monitors on a hospital screen. 
  • When money is lean and gifts few. 
  • When a bucket sits next to a miserably fevered child. 
  • When uncertainty shrouds hope ahead. 
  • When relationships shatter like broken ornaments. 
  • When grief pours like cold snow showers. 
  • When it’s the first empty nest year, the forever-vacant-chair-at-the-table-year and the one-last-time-Christmas-year.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23; NASB.

Some are small and insignificant heartbreaks, like busted toys on Christmas night, but others so great that every Christmas after will be tied to its sorrowed ribbon.

Sooner or later we all have one. The Christmas that doesn’t look the way it should, the way we planned. 

A Christmas that almost isn’t

But in the darkness of quasi-nonexistent-Christmas shines a glimpse of God’s presence like the brightness of a star above a modest manager of Bethlehem. 

Immanuel – God with us

Christmases of life’s splendor and gentleness must move over some years to make room for shadowed harsh reality. Not unlike the treasure that lay in a manger of Bethlehem. For surely the birth of a Savior full of joy, held also within its folds, the magnificent and terrible gift of a Roman cross. 

As surprising as God’s glory heralded on a shepherd’s hillside, in unexpected Christmas moments we see God is with us. 

Immanuel, dwells in our hearts and permeates our story. 

Every miserable Christmas has a story to tell of God’s magnificent grace. 

What is your story of Immanuel?

Look for it in the night. Wait for it with anticipation. Remember Immanuel wrapped in tears of past Christmases, and share it with others.

God is with us – Christmas has come 

  *Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash