Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
Key verses: (21-23) 21She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
Reflection: It’s all there, in these few verses: the past, the future, and the present. An angel of the Lord showed up to change the course of Joseph’s life with these words that wrap all of time together. In the past, the prophets spoke about the birth of a child. In the future, that child will save his people from their sins. Right now in the present, in this child in Mary’s womb, God is with us, Emmanuel.
Can we live this year, this week, this day as if all of time is in God’s hand? Can we trust that all that has come before is redeemed — the good, the bad, and everything in between? Can we believe that all that is to come is covered by God’s ultimate plan for salvation? Most of all, can we spend today with our eyes wide open to the presence of God-with-us?
Prayer: O Lord, in Jesus the past, the present, and the future are in your hands. Help me to trust in you always. Bless all that has come before, all that will someday be, and this moment, today. In the name of the One who is Emmanuel, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].