(via Karen Angela Ellis blog)
On this silent Advent night, I’ve invited my sister and friend Sarah Lewis to share her thoughts on the extra-ordinary humanity of the little family of Promise. I’m honored to carry her meditation on my blog.
On the surface and at its bare bones, the Christmas story involves a pregnant teen out of wedlock living under an oppressive regime, in a world where her rights and worth were neither valued nor considered. Mary was poor, powerless, and marginalized. Her betrothed, Joseph, took on her shame by marrying her, and their baby was born in a barn. This young family was destitute, forgotten— even homeless! And yet, this is the landscape that God uses to draw near to us.
Transliterated from Hebrew, Immanuel means, “God with us.” By Jesus being born into struggle and shame, we see that God cares about the marginalized among us. God becomes weak, vulnerable, and disenfranchised. He chooses to identify with the weak, by becoming one of them! This is not only good news for our world (that God loves the poor and the needy) but it is good news for our souls.
Whether you are financially stable, or have no roof over your head, spiritually speaking, the state of your soul is as desperate as a newborn whose bed is a feeding trough for an animal! Yet God chose to remedy our condition by sending His only son to be the vulnerable baby in a manger– and the vulnerable man on the cross. At the cross, the ultimate weakness and defeat became supreme power and victory, as Jesus defeated sin and death once and for all!
Knowing that Jesus came to be “God with us” in our weakness, in our sin and brokenness, in order to heal and save us, is what empowers us to enact ‘Immanuel’ with those around us now. We are to love the poor, the destitute, the hopeless, not only because that is who our Savior loves, but also because it is who we were in our sinful condition. In Christ’s lineage, from Abraham to David, you find murderers, adulterers, prostitutes, and everything in between! Isaiah 53 reads that “he was numbered with the transgressors.” Christ came to be numbered with broken, struggling, sinful people, like you and me!
Read the full article HERE.