Emmanuel, God with us
Tiny baby, mother cradling there
Flesh and blood,
toes, fingers, eyes and hair
Come to save the world from sin
Come to show us how God loves
Come to teach, to laugh, to cry
Come to live like you and I
Come to die
Emmanuel, God with us
Come to save from chains of sin
But only if we let him in.
Never held Bethlehem’s Babe
Or cradled him in my arms
Never tended sheep
Never heard Heaven’s Host
Burst forth with song
Or followed a star like the Magi did.
But I have held a baby
Cradled in my arms
Heard music inspired by the divine
Heard singing from choirs indeed sublime.
Stood on a hill on a crystal clear night
Amazed that stars great ships can guide
Read the words:
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.”
Perceived Truth not revealed by senses
Joined the great cloud of witnesses bound by faith.
And experienced the very presence of Emmanuel
So I have to tell.
“Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence!”
Isaiah 64:1 NLT
Expectations of the coming of the Messiah find root in this verse. Indeed, Gabriel’s visitation to Mary and later in a dream to Joseph did rock their plans of a big wedding with feast, family and friends. Surely, at some level it seemed God had burst into their well ordered world, causing Mary to flee to her cousin Elizabeth’s, while Joseph hurried to quietly first divorce her, then come to terms with the dream before bringing her into his home, but not his bed as his wife.
As this drama unfolded in their family, Mary and Joseph prepared for the arrival of the miraculous, the unexpected, Emmanuel, God with us. The country of their birth, the home of God’s Temple continued as if nothing was happening. They remained under Roman occupation, pagan rule, and they tugged against their Roman bonds. The Jews continued to sacrifice. The Messiah would come, but they were not actively expecting him.
Some Synagogues opened the scrolls and read from the prophet Isaiah these very verses…even praying for the fulfillment in their time, Wondering, if God had forgotten them. It had been a long time since the last of the prophets. Their hope had been depleted.
While in Galilee in the womb of a young woman, God prepared to burst forth.
Are we praying for our countries, wherever we are that God will burst forth? Are we actively seeking to share the miraculous story of Christ Coming…as a baby and one day as a King.