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Sunday, 17 December 2017

Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee

Lettering by @rach_forsyth



Anna was an eighty four year old woman who, following the death of her husband after only seven years of marriage, had moved to the temple.

She had decided: I will make God’s presence my home. She had lost out on the chance of her own household and refuge, and so she went to the temple- God’s dwelling- and set up home there. In her brokenness and loss she said to God: I will be with you, and made him her hope, her household and her home.

This act of faith showed that Anna knew something of the generous grace of God, as one who provides for widows and comforts the broken hearted.

But I love to imagine how her heart must have leapt when she heard Simeon declare: “here is the salvation of the Lord!”

She had known the grace of God that welcomed her when she said, “I will be with you.” But she’d now met Emmanuel, the God who left the glories of heaven and said to his people: “I will be with you.”

From His fullness we have all received grace in the place of grace!

Years earlier, King David had said to God: I will build you a house! And God had replied: no, I will build you a house.

God out-gave David in his generosity beyond fathoming- in fact the child in Simeon’s arms was the fulfillment of that very promise: the one who would reign on David’s throne forever and ever, the one whose government and power would increase forever and ever.

And here was Anna, the humble widow, being out-given by the same God, through the same child.

For God to say, “you can be with me” is generous and miraculous and glorious beyond our fathoming. But what he actually says, and then does in fulfilmment of his promise is even more generous than that: “I will be with you.”

And when God promises “I will be with you” he doesn’t just mean he will be where we are. He means: I will be your representative, I will fight the battle for you, I will unite you to me, I will dwell in your heart, I will make your heart my home.

However generous we think God is- he is more generous than that.

We may say to God, “I will be where you are”- though we don’t have the power to bridge the enormous divide between us.

But God says to us, “I will be with you.” And then he bridges that gap between us until our lives are hidden with Christ in God.



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