With - Advent Series
It really is hard to imagine a more welcoming word. Say it slowly, and as it rolls off your tongue think of the people you love the most. It generates feelings of warmth and love, peace and contentment, delight and connection. Consider: family coming home for Christmas, loved ones returning from trips, holding hands, cuddling with a baby, and the surprising joy of seeing someone you love walk unexpectedly into the room. We experience hope, peace, joy and love with the sound of that simple four letter word.
Our hunger and need for “with” fills our days and compels our choices. Our time, money and energy are directed to the purposes of “with”. Music, poetry and art express its beauty. It is the sigh of a baby asleep in your arms; the deep love of a couple holding hands on a death bed, and the tangible delight of a young couple falling in love. It is the deep trust of longtime friendships, the joy of children wanting to be “with” you in your daily tasks and the clear sense of knowing and being known by someone who is “with” you.
“With” may very well be one of the most powerful truths of our lives.
That's probably why the lack of “with” creates fear, disease, imbalance and loneliness. Loss of “with” is not good for our souls and fuels bad choices. The opposite of “with” is alone which is endemic these days, creating hunger that social media and technology cannot sate.
Maybe that's partly why when God wove the Bible together he made sure that Matthew remembered the words of an O.T. prophet as he wrote about the birth of Jesus: "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel – which means God with us" (Matthew 1:17 ).
Please don't miss that. Since the coming of Jesus into our world, God is now “with” us. The thing that we most need and hunger for, that drives our choices and fills our days is found eternally in Jesus! This Advent Season, we are going to dwell on that one little word and reflect together on what an incredible gift we have in Jesus who came to be “with” us!
Nov. 30: The hope of the world is with us!
Dec. 7: The peace of God is with us!
Dec.14 The joy of the Lord is with us!
Dec. 21: The love of God is with us!
Join us on this journey and let’s pray that we will experience the gift of With this Christmas.