All of us have suffered loss. Whether it be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job or the loss of self to something we think we cannot do or be; there is just that sinking feeling in the pits of our soul that never seems to completely go away. For some it lessens, for others it’s ignored. Still others simply find a scar––a reminder of emptiness. Then coupled with the fact that it is Christmas, it seems like that feeling multiplies––exponentially!
As I have been studying this Christmas, I am reminded of a little verse tucked away in the beginning acts of the Christmas story. This verse happens before the Shepherds come center stage––before the cattle are lowing and the baby Jesus is asleep on the hay. And long before the three kings make their way to the humble abode of the Christ child and His family. You see, it happens when the Angel of the Lord appears to Joseph and tells him that his fiancée is pregnant, and that the baby will be God’s Son, saving the people of history from their sins!
Can we say freak-out mode!? Or, “The weight of the world on my shoulders!” Can we say #AllAlone!?
As Joseph is getting this news, the Angel tells Joseph, (Matthew 1:20) “…do not be afraid…” #YeahRight!
Between verse 20 and 23, I can’t imagine what was going through Joseph’s mind and heart! The emotions he must have felt. Knowing the culture and the law of the time, this would certainly demand the life––for sure the estrangement––of his beloved Mary. Not to mention the disgrace that would be brought upon them. Then verse 23 plainly speaks:
Matt. 1:23, “…they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” The very meaning of his son’s name, becomes the comfort that he needed right then. As God was asking Joseph to lose dignity, stature, placement, and honor; Joseph heard that God was right there with him!
This Christmas, whether it is the felt agony from the loss of a loved one, or a call to do something that requires you to lose yourself & change your plans; remember that, “…they will call Him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us!’”
#YOUARENOTALONE this CHRISTMAS!