After Norah was fast asleep last night, Evie and I sat down and watched a sentimental Christmas favorite-- Home Alone! It’s about a boy named Kevin, a small boy who wished his family would disappear for Christmas. The next day, his family mistakenly leaves on vacation without him, leaving Kevin home alone for Christmas. At first, he enjoys the the benefits of being alone until the realities of isolation caused him to reminisce of his family. Kevin soon sought out Santa to request his family back-- because being near to them was more important than any other gift Santa could give.

Likewise, God’s gifts are wonderful. He answers our prayers, He heals the sick, and He provides for our needs. But more precious than His presents is His presence. He is near in confusion, he is close in joy, and He is with us in disappointment.

This is the beautiful presence Matthew wrote of in his gospel: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’)”. Pastor Eric spoke last week on the significance of Immanuel-- you can read his script here.

I am praying for immanuel in your dreams, fears, and life in the upcoming year. That you would cherish His nearness in your biggest hopes and greatest fears!

Let our spirits be awoken!

ps: Just a reminder that we will be having a joint service this Sunday with Crossroads and will be back at BHS on January 4th, 2015!