A short reading and prayer for today
All of this occurred to fulfil the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
Matthew 1:22-23 NLT
Loneliness is one of the greatest problems of our society and it is on the increase. This matters because loneliness is incredibly dangerous. It increases the risk of death by 26 per cent, is more damaging to health than obesity, and increases the risk of high blood pressure. Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Holt-Lunstad 2010). But the person who knows Jesus personally need never experience loneliness, because he is Immanuel “God with us” and, when we live with him day by day, we are instantly connected to a world wide family of his people.
The difference between our relationship with God and with other people is that God never leaves us. He is always by our side. We may have the warmest of relationships with our friends, colleagues, and family but, because they are human, the experience is constantly changing. They are busy with other things. They have good days and bad days. They have holidays and illnesses and are continually distracted by other calls on their time. However firm our relationships with others, they are always changing. That’s where our relationship with the Lord is so different. At any time, whatever our circumstances or mood, the Lord is by our side. He is always with us.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, let’s not allow ourselves to be so distracted by the sheer busyness of the celebrations, that we fail to see Immanuel, the God who will never leave us. We have often been told that dogs are for life and not just for Christmas. But immeasurably more important is the fact that Jesus is for life and certainly not just for Christmas.
In what ways are you encouraged by the fact that God is always with us?
Lord Jesus Christ, thank you that you never leave us or forsake us. Amen