God Is With Us- All the Time

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno

Jer 23: 5-8; Mt 1: 18-25

Dc. Larry Brockman

“God is With Us”   That is what Immanuel means,   I think it is really important to understand what that really means.   You see, we were saved from our sins by Jesus, and the passion and resurrection that we observe each year during the Lent and Easter Season tells that story in a literal sense.   But the promise this morning is that “God is with us”.   And that means something different.   It means that God came among us and lived as we do- the Incarnation.   The realization of that promise forever made God present,  relevant, and personal in our lives.   He is not remote, distant, and separated from us.   He is with us, even now; he is still with us.   

Part of that presence is the Eucharist, to be sure because we can be certain that God is in us at any time by receiving Communion.   But the promise is even more basic than that.  It is that God is present to us always, at every waking moment.   Of course, we have to be open to God in order to recognize that presence and allow Him to be with us.   But if we are open, then we will be saved from our own sins.

Jeremiah kind of predicts a new order, one separate from the Old Testament promise to Moses.   You see, the Jews did not recognize God’s presence in their lives in Jeremiah’s day.   They thought they were in control despite the warnings of the prophets,   So, the rulers of Israel, along with the people, ignored the prophets and did things their way.   And as a result, God could not help them.   God cannot help those who don’t listen to Him.   

The consequences of the Israelis infidelity were the exile; they were scattered all over the ancient world.   This morning Jeremiah is predicting a new order.   An order in which God will send Jesus, the root of Jesse; and after that, God’s presence will bring all the people of God back together to live in their own land- the promised land. 

One of the reasons we read of this Old Testament cycle of disobedience and then conversion is because it is the pattern of history.   Things are no different in the modern world than they were in the ancient world.   Our society goes through cycles like that.   There are times when communities, groups of communities, and even nations listen to the word of God, obey his commands, and walk with   God as they go through life.   And there are times when society thinks that it is in control.   When people ignore God and his commands, and think they are in control rather than God.   Then the consequences are effectively the same as Jews experienced.   Things go badly; society is ravaged; and the people of God are effectively scattered among the non-believers.   

I don’t know about you, but I see all kinds of signs in today’s world that society is not listening to the word of God.   Let me give an example.   Instead of saying Merry Christmas, it is Happy Holidays for most  folks.   That really sums it up- because that is celebrating a secular holiday, not the coming of Christ.  That’s why we hear holiday music and not Christmas Carols this time of year.   Don’t think that this doesn’t have consequences.   Because if our focus is on a Holly, Jolly Christmas; Santa Baby,   and a Marshmallow World for the 4 weeks of Advent rather than on the coming of Christ heralded by Silent Night, O Come O Come Emmanuel, and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen;  then inside of ourselves, we are ignoring the real meaning of Christmas-  that “God is with us”.   

Starting right now Let’s all of us recognize that “God is With Us” in all we do, every hour of the day; that he is there to pick us up when we falter, when we are ill, and when we are down.   And that will bring “Joy to the World”. 


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.