Let’s Remember the Christmas Promise
Chaplain Gary Yarbrough, DMin, BCC
Shelby Baptist Medical Center
עמנו־אל.... Emanu-El…. with us, God…. God, with us…. God is with us….
This IS the Christmas promise! Joy to the world, the LORD is come! This is God’s joy coming to the world revealed in the birth and life of Jesus, the Christ; the Messiah.
The prophets spoke and wrote of “the Anointed One’s” appearing. That’s what Christ (from the Greek) and Messiah (Hebrew) means: the Anointed One. The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Therefore, the LORD himself shall give you a sign; ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel….’” (Isaiah 7:14).
These words are echoed in the Gospel of Matthew describing the events leading up to the birth of the Christ-Child (Matthew 1:18-23).
Lest anyone should think that I’m getting ahead of myself in the celebration of Christmas on that 25th day of December, you’re right! Yes, let’s get ready and prepare ourselves for the Celebration of the Birth of Christ; the King of Kings and Lord of Lords whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. Though the exact day of his birth is not known, it gives us all the more reason to live with the realization/awareness that we can celebrate the promise of the Christmas Season every day! Each day, from the day of his first appearing until the day of his return, we can experience anew the Christmas promise: Emanu-El, God is with us.
May the words of the prophet speak truth and hope into your life and spirit.
Prayer: LORD of all creation, we ask for simplicity of faith to hear You gently speaking to our heart, mind and spirit above the noise of today’s marketplace. Grant to us the vision of the prophets, to behold Your presence with us. Yes, LORD, You are with us, indeed. Amen.
(You might observe that many have an Advent Wreath on display in their church or home. On the first Sunday of Advent, the prophet’s candle is lit representing the prophecies of the Messiah’s coming over two thousand years ago. It is often called the Prophet’s Candle or the Candle of Hope. Like the prophets of old, we now wait in anticipation of his advent/coming again!)