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Week of: December 18, 2016
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
"(A)nd they shall name him Emmanuel, which means 'God is with us.'"
(Matthew 1:23b, NRSV)
I hope you will read the birth of Jesus the Messiah according to Matthew's gospel. I know it is not the picturesque-image-packed-script-for-a-children's-pageant reading that Luke's gospel gives us. It was not read by Linus in the Peanuts Christmas television special. It is not theologically dense like John's gospel, "In the beginning ..."
And yet ...
In Matthew's gospel the story is quiet. Simple. Concise. Even endearing. Mary is with child. Joseph plans to dismiss her quietly. In the night his direction is changed through a dream. Instructions for naming the child are given. He takes Mary as his wife. They name the child Jesus. There it is.
And yet ...
These verses are chock-full of the meaning of the Incarnation! The story of one woman and one man whose lives are quietly and yet forever changed by Emmanuel: God with us. May it be so for us.
All thanks and praise be to you, Emmanuel, the one who is with us still. Amen.