Kim McKay Allen is a recent Master of Divinity graduate in the Women’s Leadership Initiative at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. She is a cancer survivor and has found her greatest joy and fulfillment in her calling as a chaplain.
Whispers of Hope
“Behold! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
~Matthew 1:23 NLT
We have spent the Advent season marking the days in anticipation of the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Savior, born that night in a manger in Bethlehem.
In the lyrics of the Christmas carol,O Little Town of Bethlehem, we sing “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Although we are in the NEW YEAR, we will be faced with many life issues personally and those shared by loved ones. Do not lose hope “God is with us.”
The presence of God with us is what I will share with you today. Look through the lens of the past into your current situation and see, that all provisions for our hopes and fears were met by Jesus the one we also call, Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”
Christmas may be over, but we can celebrate that Jesus is here with us now. To realize that the God of the universe is present here with us is both amazing and unbelievable, but it’s true! Take a moment and experience a sense of the Spirit of God’s presence.
God Is With Us
Whatever circumstances that you are facing today, whether they be disappointments, joys, challenges, fears, or opportunities, we can be confident that Jesus is here and is near to us! Jesus promises us in Matthew 28:20 (ESV), “You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of time.”
Now that the tough year of 2020 has comes to a close, we have hope for the best in 2021. No matter what we will face, we know that Emmanuel, our counselor, our comfort, our peace, our friend, our Jesus, our God is with us.The last line of that Christmas carol ends with these words…“O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.”
We thank you, Jesus, that you are Emmanuel, God with us…. right here , where we are today and where we will be tomorrow. I pray that your peace will surround each person and give them rest when they need it, and strength to make decisions they may be facing. We honor your name Emmanuel, Jesus, Comforter, and friend. In your name, we pray, Amen.
Excerpts of lyrics from :Brooks, Phillips. “O Little Town of Bethlehem: a Christmas Hymn.” Baptist Hymnal 2008, 196.
During the first few days after my cancer diagnosis, my brain charged into overdrive. I searched the internet for the best oncologists and treatment centers. My family asked everyone they knew for references. Our phones rang constantly with friends calling to see how we were and to offer their prayers.
Tension cloaked every word we spoke. My anxiety level crept up to the exploding point. I needed relief. Then one morning I read Zephaniah 3:17, “For the Lord your God . . . will bring you quietness with His love. . .” Immediately, my emotions settled. Peace enveloped me. Quietness came and stayed.
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