“God Showed Up”
I’m sorry I missed my Christmas blog. In recent weeks I have been dealing with my sister’s death and memorial service, my mom’s knee replacement surgery and most recently my grandson Ethan’s unexpected and unplanned visit with us. All these things at one time have left my brain a little scrambled. But I would like to share one Christmas reflection that also reminds me of the year we just experienced together.
In the 1st chapter of Matthew’s gospel, when the angel tells Joseph that his wife is pregnant through the Holy Spirit, there is a very significant statement that is made by the angel. We read “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”, which translated means “God with us”, (1:23, NASB). Now the angel has already told Joseph the child’s name will be Jesus (v.21) but he quotes the prophet Isaiah to show that the child will represent God before humanity. As I reflect on 2012 I am amazed at how many times in the midst of our struggles and difficulties that God showed up.
He showed up early in the year as one of our church families struggled with a life threatening illness. Even from the brink of death God showed up even to the amazement of the doctors. God showed up as we came together to be Jesus’ arms and legs to throw a big hug around this family through a community fundraiser. God showed up in our Vacation Bible School which at the start of the year we didn’t even think we would have one. He showed up when He allowed my 2 precious grandsons to be present for the week. Jesus showed up when one of our ladies prayed with my grandson Ethan to receive Jesus into his heart.
Jesus showed up profoundly in our midst following super storm Sandy. When our flight was cancelled for our Nov. 1st departure for India I thought it was over. But God found a way for us to proceed and to arrive in time for the Pastors conference. In India God showed up despite the weakness and frailty of the messenger. God showed up in a big way the Sunday following Sandy at our communion service. He showed up when I walked into the closed glass door in the back of the sanctuary and almost gave myself a concussion, the morning of our reschedule flight to India. But the service that was held without electricity or power point was one of the most powerful experiences of “God being with us” that I’ve experienced in 26 years of ministry. God showed up in the 90 or so folks who were there and especially in the dozen or so visitors who worshipped with us that unique Sunday.
As we proceed into 2013 let us pray that Jesus will continue to manifest His presence in our midst and as we lift up Jesus God will show up in power and presence. As for 2012 it will be remembered in my life by 3 simple words, “God showed up”. All praise to our great Savior who is God with us.
For God’s Glory,
Pastor Rich Sivo