13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right.
Isaiah 7:13-14 talks about a promise God made several hundred years before Jesus was born. This means that there were many generations of people who lived and died waiting for the fulfillment of this promise. When the promise was fulfilled many couldn’t accept it.
This Christmas, I am mindful of many people around me who are waiting on God for something. God’s word is clear, He if for us, He loves us and He came a long way to be Immanuel. Yet suffering does not take a break to worship God for being born into our world. Death, disease and loss don’t call a cease fire on humanity over what we claim as holy days.
Some people identify more with Job than with Shepherds in the fields at the birth of Jesus. They can’t see any miraculous signs. The pain is just too great. It would be easy to come up with endless counsel directly from the Bible in an attempt to give hope. I am positive any words from me in these times of pain will be trite, selfish and insensitive.
In some case even being Jesus with skin on to our hurting world around us just won’t help. My daughter and I will be reaching out to our people who do not have permanent shelter over the next few hours and days. Even the company I work for dove headfirst into compassion and justice this year working with a Christian Community Center and Church in the hope of letting our light shine so that the world would see that God is good through us. Even when we, as the church fulfill our mission as Jesus with skin on, we can’t take away the pain.
There are many people who are suffering this Christmas and their only hope is, by some miracle God will touch them directly. My prayer this Christmas Eve morning is for all those who are suffering beyond anything I could even understand or comprehend. For the mother who just lost her unborn baby at 8 months, for the parents who are losing hope that their newborn baby with live, for the family spending their first Christmas without a loved one, for the father who has no food to feed his family, for the single mom who doesn’t know how she will make ends meet, for the child who just lost her last parent to Aids…for the 14 year old slave who has forgotten that she is loved… the list goes on and on… I pray for direct intervention from You Dear God this Christmas. I know that this kind of suffering happens throughout the year…yet the world seems to wonder about You during Christmas. Please God, you are the only one who can bring hope directly into this world.