Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

As we wind down from our joyous Christmas celebrations, for some, there is a lingering sadness. A sadness that comes with the memories of loved ones who are no longer here, or perhaps with the experience of not being able to be together this year. Sadness during the holidays can be especially difficult because we feel that we are not “supposed” to be sad – we are “supposed” to be happy and joyful.

So, where do we find God when we’re feeling down? When we feel lost and alone, it can be easy to convince ourselves that we’ve been abandoned. I believe, though, that we find God right there in that sadness with us.

The Gospel tells us that when Jesus learned that his friend Lazarus had died, and when he saw the tears of Lazarus’ sisters and friends, Jesus wept with them. Jesus felt a deep compassion for the people who were mourning, and he was moved to tears.

I believe this is an incredible insight into who God is. God, in Jesus, felt compassion for those who were hurting and wept with them. God feels our pain, and like a parent, feels deep compassion for us, sharing in our grief and sorrow.

As we learned in the nativity story, Jesus was called Immanuel – God with us. God chose to come to earth in human form – to be one of us – to take part in the entirety of the human experience. Jesus knew what it was to mourn, to cry, to hurt.

God came to be among us in the form of an infant, to grow as we do – to experience childhood, adolescence, and all of the trials that come with every stage of life. Jesus, undoubtedly, had scraped knees and broken hearts, just as we do.

God knows our pain. God feels our pain.

At the times when we are hurting and when we feel the most alone, God is right there with us – weeping, and caring, and holding us as we move through the difficult times. We are never abandoned; we are never alone. God is with us – Immanuel.

God was with us as an infant in a manger 2,000 years ago, and God is with us today.

Remember, when you are hurting, that you are not alone. Remember that God is with you, experiencing the hurt with you, and carrying you through it.

God is with you. God is with us.

Deacon Amy