Beloved, if the joy of being close to Jesus made John the Baptist leap in the womb, just how much more should we be leaping in joy in all circumstances, knowing that we have the Holy Spirit dwell in us and we will get to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus. Truly, blessed is she who believed: who has known the Redemption’s story and felt it stir her heart, felt it build herself anew. And this we remember: that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Beloved, today, whisper that name to remind yourself that you are never alone, that you never walk any step on your own. Remind yourself: Immanuel, God with me. God with me. In moments of soul-wrenching sadness or ghastly grief — God with me. In moments of buried brokenness or deep despair — God with me. In moments of strapping stress or hopeless hurry — God with me. Always, Immanuel, my God with me.
But like in the whole of this story unfolding and revealing to us the relentless love of our God, His grace penetrates these ruins as well and there, here, this one word — but. And so an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream, bringing these words of comfort, of explanation, of love understanding and mending, of purpose. Yes, the hurt is still there and journey will still be painful but now, there is divine purpose, divine possibility for a better future. Now there is a reason to all this: God bowed down from heaven to save us from our sins.
Here, the redemption story begins and the story unfolds — a virgin called Mary betrothed to a man named Joseph, a descendant of king David. Now to conceive and later give birth to the Son of the Most High, the One who has come to save the humankind. This little babe making all sad things come untrue, our holy Savior come to walk that lonely road to Calvary. Here, the Miracle of miracles come to fulfill the prophecies, this time to come for us hopeless ones where death will die and life will begin.