We have this nativity set with all the pieces that one can set any which way, but most often, I've been finding that a kid has moved every sheep, all the shephards, Joseph, and every animal huddled close to Jesus. Crowded. Touching. Together.
It's been the theme of these past few days I've missed in the midst of all the activity of the season: Immanuel, God with us.
He was among us when the congregation erupted in heart-warming applause for Zeke after he played a couple of songs on the piano. He was among us at my lunch date yesterday with six dear prayer partners in which we sat for hours and shared the ways in which God has blessed us and responded to our prayers this past year. He's been among my kids as they've wanted to be all together all the time- even at night. He's been there at our parties and even in our petitions- because Christmas-time doesn't yet guarantee a pass from suffering- and even as I was listening to David Crowder's version of "O Come, O Come, Immanuel," I marveled at the power of rejoicing even in our suffering because He's WITH us. And He won't leave us. He promises.
|our small group Christmas feast|
|our church's Christmas party - these 9 ladies dancing did the whip and the nae nae|
|8 maids of milking of course|
That's the idea, you know? Huddle together and rejoice! It's a sign- Immanuel is God with us. All you shephard-types, go to Him. Christ, our Messiah, our Rescuer is born.
"O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel."