"The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" … "God with us" Matthew 1:23, NIV
Why I Can Cry To My Lord
Yesterday I cried. Feeling sad, frustrated, and misunderstood, the tears flowed like a reflex to the pain.
I also prayed, at least eventually. Actually, at first I complained and blamed as I explained my problem to Jesus. But after a while I prayed.
Let me give you fair warning: the inconvenient thing about bringing my issues to Jesus is that while He does provide comfort, He never lets me get away with blaming situations or other people. He ALWAYS shines His light on the depths of my heart. Ouch. But I would rather bring my junk to Him, even if does mean conviction and blame-sharing, than carry it by myself.
As I consider the freedom of crying TO my Savior, my mind is drawn to the manger scene. I am aware this Christmas season, that my freedom results from my relationship with a loving God who did not remain far off. Instead, He humbled Himself and took on the form of man ... the form of a baby, and all that that entails. How very much He loves us.
Away in a Manger
His newborn cry pierced the starry night. Though all babies proclaim their entrance to the world the same way, this cry announced an extraordinary arrival: God had come. He voluntarily inserted Himself into the predicaments of humanity, not as conquering King, but as a baby in a stable.
His nose smelled animals, hay, and manure. His ears heard the shuffling of livestock. His eyes looked into the faces of His earthly parents, as they curiously searched His face for a sign of the divine. How could it be? The face of God looked just like a baby should.
The Christmas carol "Away In A Manger" states, “no crying He makes,” but Scripture doesn’t say that. Rather, we learn He was acquainted with grief, and His first experience with humanity’s grief was the cold shock of birth.
He endured hunger that could only be satisfied by the response of His mother. He required His diaper to be changed, His body to be washed, and His frail infant form to be held. He entered His own creation in a state that required every single need to be met by another person.
His cry did not just mean He was hungry. It announced to the world, “I feel your pain. I know your grief. I experience your struggles. I chose this because I love you.”
Our own tears are met and understood in the arms of a Savior who loves us THAT MUCH.
As a man, Jesus also wept in grief, as the shortest Scripture (just two words) tells us: Jesus wept. Even though Jesus would eventually heal His friend, He still grieved alongside His friends. Jesus understands the pain and hurt a human heart can feel.
On a Hill Far Away
Thirty years later His voice cried out again, praying to His Father on the "old, rugged cross." That cry proclaimed that the reason He had come in the first place was at hand. His promise was close to fulfillment, His atonement almost complete.
The cry we celebrate at Christmas, is the cry that is completed on Easter.
Yes, we have a holy, just, powerful Lord God to worship. But He isn't a God who resides far away, or one to whom me must eternally try to reach.
Instead we have Jesus, who came TO US and loves us beyond measure. He entered our world. That is why His name is Immanuel, God WITH us.
Thank You Lord that You chose to proclaim Your arrival with a Baby’s cry. Thank You Immanuel for coming to us.