Skip to main content

With

With.  This small word is a preposition.  It’s not exciting like a verb or descriptive like an adjective.  It’s just a preposition—a puny part of speech.  Often we don’t even take the time to write out all four letters of the word; a “w” and a “/” suffice. 

And yet…

With is powerful.

        Sitting with someone as they cry, mourn, or die.

        Being with a woman as she births a baby.

        Promising with the love of your life before God, family, and friends.

        Being intimate with your husband or wife.

With describes and defines monumental life moments. 

With also describes and defines Christmas.  Immanuel, God with us, is why we celebrate.  We have a God who came to earth as a baby to be with us—in our vulnerability, in our dependency, in our pain and agony, even in our mundane moments.

Jesus was on this earth with humanity for a little over thirty years.  A few of those thirty years were remarkable, but most of them were likely mundane.  He worked—honest, hard work with his hands.  He ate and slept.  He related to his immediate family. 

Then Jesus promised to be with us always, even to the very end of the age.

At Christmas we celebrate this withness—how Jesus came to be with us on earth, and how we find hope and comfort in his promise to be with us always
.
But Christmas is over.  The remarkable joy on kids’ Christmas morning faces has waned.  They’re back in school; their parents are back at work.  Bulging boxes of Christmas decorations are packed away, hidden for the mundane months ahead.

The season for celebrating Immanuel is over until next year.  So what do we do now?  

What if we inverted Immanuel?  What if God with us became us with God

God became flesh and came to earth.  What did he come here to tell us?

“Follow me.”

God came here and told us to come with Him.

What if we worked at being with God until we celebrate God with us again? 


What could being with God look like in your life, in your community?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Response to Charlottesville

Visiting our nation’s capital is an easy day trip for us, and how I chose to spend a precious vacation day this week.  I took pride in explaining the buildings and icons of my country to my children.  I am proud to be an American.  

But today, I am not proud.  
Today, I weep.

Four days ago, I saw the beautiful, infamous words “We the People” with my own eyes for the first time.  
Four days later, I am reminded of how far we still have to go to fully live into those words:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What has happened 63 miles from my home, in Jefferson’s beautifully-domed, colonnaded city, is far from perfect, just, or tranquil.
This is not what our founding fathers wanted for our country, nor is …

A Message to Graduates

I have been a Pastor to Students (The title has changed numerous times; the role remains.) in Powhatan, Virginia for roughly 12 years.  I daresay I've been ministering to teenagers in this community longer than many.

Over the last dozen years, I've gotten lots of cool opportunities to minister to teenagers in this area.   But one had always eluded me--speaking at a baccalaureate service.  My husband had done the honors.  Other great pastors in the area had as well.  Once, I'd offered the closing prayer.  

This week, that changed.  I had the distinct honor to share with the PHS Class of 2016 at their baccalaureate service.  It was a wonderful experience working with great students, parents, and school leaders.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity!!!

A few people missed it and have asked to see what I said, so here it is, ALL of it:

June 1999 I sat in this space for my Baccalaureate service.  Before I was a pastor at PCC, before I moved back to Powhatan to raise my family, …

Disillusionment of Adulthood

Now that I’m in my 30’s, I must confess to disillusionment.  Growing up, I had ideas of what adulthood would be like.  I’m here, and it’s not entirely what I’d imagined.
For starters, I remember growing up amidst all the drama that comes with, well, growing up.  The gossip.  The hurt feelings.  The misunderstandings.  The fights between friends.  The back-stabbing.  And I remember being told that it would get better.  I’m not sure who told me that, but they were clearly wrong.
The drama may look a little different.  The words may sound a little different.  But the anguish of relationships remains.
Adults hurt each other’s feelings—intentionally and unintentionally. Adults nitpick and cause fights over inconsequential issues. Adults gossip. Adults cry, scream, and pitch fits. Adults build relational alliances, competing in “us vs. them” relational war. Adults let issues build and exponentially swell until they explode. Adults rarely identify the actual issue instead of the presenting issue. Adul…