Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. - Isaiah 7:14
Immanuel, God with us. And the sign of God’s presence with us…a baby born in a cowshed. What a sign! Today you don’t need a degree in advertising to know that if you want to make a good sign, you’ve got to make it BIG and plant it in a conspicuous spot by a crossroads somewhere. But God’s sign has nothing of those qualities, for God’s sign was very small and tucked away in an inconspicuous moment of time, in an insignificant corner of the globe. Unlike the billboards that jerk our attention from the highway, God’s sign went unnoticed; it is hidden to the world in its familiarity, its weakness, its humility.
No wonder it’s so hard to capture the Christmas Spirit each year, to recapture the awareness of God with us, to recapture Immanuel. It’s hidden! Hidden where we’d never dream to look for it: hidden in the familiarity of a little girl’s face, hidden in the weakness of a toothless old man, hidden in the humility of a half-empty church.
Wise men still seek the Christ child even now, not in the flashy signs of X-mas, but in the mangers of today. Is there such a manger in your home or next door or on the highway? Look for Him there and I think you will find that God’s hidden presence will be very real to you. Immanuel, God with us. May God be with you all this Christmas and always.
Grace & Peace,