stronger -

STRONGER: Session Five - Christmas!

STRONGER: Session Five - Christmas!
I bless you on this Christmas Day 2020. A remarkable, difficult and transitional year of life. I pray the breath of the Lord over you – His very presence as you walk through this weekend of remembering those who have left for heaven, those you cannot gather with and loving the ones you are with right now.
Imagine the mix of emotions that Joseph wrestled with as this day began to unfold – the coming of the Messiah. As a baby. As his baby. Excitement, distress, concern, joy and what to do next.
Months before the very first Christmas day, Joseph wrestled through an excruciating, dark night...what to do about his fiancé's mysterious pregnancy. Speaking through an angel, God gave Joseph a word that is for you and me right now.
‘Joseph, son of David,’ the angel said, ‘do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

All of this occurred to fulfill 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 Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’ Mt 1:20-24
Ok, so that helps. But his neighbors and relatives are still looking at them like it’s a major scandal. He now becomes a man on a mission. To protect his wife, honor God and take care of his new son.
The beauty of this spectacular, divine moment is how the angel gave a name, Jesus, which means "Savior," but also a reputation, an essence, a role, which is "Emmanuel," meaning "God is with us.”
Perhaps this Christmas of 2020, the promise means more than ever: God is with us!
God sent a Savior to us, with a promise that God would never leave us, never forsake us. God is with us!
In the book of Hebrews, God restates his promise: 
"...For God Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not!" Heb 13:5.
Rejoice! We have been given the good news of great joy and love – GOD IS WITH US!

May this Christmas season bring the stunning reality to your life, that God is with you. We pray the presence of God, the peace of His Spirit and the provision of His grace will cover your life, your mission, your family.
I believe this next year will find you also as a man on a new and fresh mission. More about that next week.
My wife Judi and our family, my sisters and their husbands, Richard and Joann Webster, Mark and Lois Crase, and all our loved ones from your CMN global family send you Christmas greetings!