Yesterday was a typical Tuesday and yet one like none other. An ordinary day became extraordinary as I spread the sheets, colored pencils, construction paper, glue, scissors, hole punch, and ribbons out on the table before us.
We were going to spend some time making Christmas ornaments for her to take home.
She was quite intent coloring. The Christmas music was softly streaming from my computer and she was humming along with me. As she colored, she asked a few questions about Christmas and baby Jesus. There is nothing like conversations with a four year old to open our eyes anew.
“All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us’.” (Matthew 1:22- 23, NLT)
Sit a spell and let those words soak into your heart and mind a bit.
Immanuel – God is with us.
We so tend to remember this name at Christmas. But do we allow ourselves to bask in this truth? Maybe we need to say it this way: “God IS with us!”
God is with us in our messes. He is with us each and every day because He is within us. He is present with us right where we are. Today. He came not only that day in the stable but He comes each and every day to us, to be with us.
We can so forget His Presence with us in the messes of our daily routines. Maybe it is because we forget the simple truth – He lives within our heart.
He goes with us wherever we go. He stays where we stay. He is present and presently happening in the moment, this moment. There is not a moment in which He is not with us.
As she colored, she said, “Jesus is in heaven, up there.” A few seconds later, she stated, “Jesus is in my heart too,” and I replied, “Yes, Jocelyn, you are right. He is.”
And the question came, “Mimi, what does He say?”
With the Christmas music softly playing in the background, her head yet bent and focused on coloring, I answered, “Some days, He says:
- “I love you!”
- “You are special.”
- “Always be kind to your family and friends.”
- “Be sure to share with everybody.”
- “Obey mommy and daddy and Mrs. Izzo.”
- “You are beautiful.”
She was quiet for a few seconds, intently coloring. It was then, I heard her soft voice say, “I like when He says, ‘I love you’ best.”
Yeah, me too, Jocelyn. Me too.
She continued coloring Mary and Elizabeth, the circle indicating both women were with child. As she colored, I prayed for the Lord to seal the truth of Jesus within her and His deep love for her, searing it on her heart and mind.
This morning may you listen to this simple and beautiful song and let the words speak to you what you need this morning. Right now. In the “mess” you are in.
For Immanuel is with us.
And may you hear Him whisper in your heart, “I love you!”