by Darcia Kunkel
The Promise Lives On.
You can listen today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
The Christmas festivities have waned. Our tree is withered, dry, brittle, and ready for recycling. As I began to dismantle the lights and decorations I found this ornament, way in the back, on the bottom. I almost missed it before throwing out the dead brush.
This particular adornment comes from a collection of similar trimmings, each with a different name representing Jesus. The name Immanuel is printed inside this one, along with the following verse:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel,”
which is translated, ‘God with us’.”
Matthew 1:23 New King James Version
How fitting that the actual day of traditional celebration, December 25th, has passed, yet we are reminded that Immanuel is still with us. He does not just abandon us at the birth, or after his death and resurrection, but remains with us each and every day.
This time of year can be somewhat of a letdown for many people. The weather is often cold, gray, and bleak. The euphoria of the weeks leading up to the holiday comes crashing to a halt as family and friends return to their daily lives, with only New Year’s Eve to anticipate. For many, hopelessness sets in as another year looms on the horizon. It can be very depressing. Hospitals often see an uptick in illness and death during the winter months and holiday season.
In the midst of all of the gloom and doom, Christ reaches out to us and declares that the party is not over. His mercy, grace, and love continue. How comforting and reassuring that message is for us today!
Lord, when I start to feel the post-holiday anticlimax, you remind me that you are with me. You understand the anxieties, the fears, and the darkness, yet your promise still remains to carry me through. I pray that others may feel your sustaining, life-giving, presence for the remainder of the holiday season and beyond.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado