[Written by Josh Davis]

Matthew 1:23 says “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

Have you ever thought deeply about the miracle of Jesus’ conception and birth? Flesh and spirit came together – humanity and divinity- in the person of Jesus. It has not happened before or since- “a heartbeat in a virgin’s womb”

And then, can you imagine God the Father knitting Jesus together in Mary’s womb. Do you think God was any more creative & careful or less creative & careful than He was when He knit you together in your mother’s womb?  

Take a few minutes to listen to this Proskuneo Christmas song, “Emmanuel” which explores the mystery and miracle of the incarnation.

Over the last 16 years, I have been really honored to get to know many amazing humans who have refugee status. I have many friends from all over the world who have left their homelands in order to flee war and genocide. To hear their stories of border-crossings and escape and to see their resilience amidst persecution and displacement has both inspired me and invited me to grieve.

Have you ever thought of Jesus as a refugee? What does that stir in you?

The very name, Emmanuel, is a proclamation of the life-altering truth that God is with us. God is not absent. God is not unaware. God doesn’t remove himself from our pain and weakness and complexities. God is right here, in the middle of the twists and turns of our life stories. God is with you, with me, with us.

Take a deep breath and pay attention to God’s presence with you right now…just as you are. I want to encourage you to take a few minutes today to reflect and write 5 sentences that declare the reality of Emmanuel in your life. Simply fill in the blank: “God, you are with me in ________________.” After you write them read them out loud and let your heart respond as it will.

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