“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, God is with us.” Matthew 1:23
Memory of Reading Scripture at Family Service
The year was 1993 my Dad passed away in January. I was happy for him, as he had for most of his life, battled physical illnesses. Our children were 15 and 12 and I put much into my work to provide for my family’s future. This was one of the lessons that I learned from my Dad. He almost literally worked himself to death and was totally disabled when I was 15.
We were busy with our kids’ school, sports and church activities. Gatherings with family and friends was the norm and appreciated. Life went on “normally”, but my grief would rise up as I reflected on my father’s passing, especially when we gathered for the holidays.
For Christmas of 1993, I agreed to read the Christmas story at the family service. I thought no problem, I’ve read many times. I always believed it was a privilege to read scripture and was happy to do it. I think my suppressed grief finally hit me as I read this beautiful story and thought about my Dad. I broke down and cried. The promise of Emmanuel, God with us, had touched me deeper from that moment on.
This year I have often thought about that year. I am trying to stay positive as we have a pandemic to cope with. I miss our gatherings with friends and family. For the first time in our lives we will not be together with our children and grandchildren for Thanksgiving. I am grieving all that this pandemic has done to us individually and collectively. Thanks to technology, we are keeping the threads connected, but this pandemic has made those threads fray a bit.
I am holding onto that promise of “God with Us” and hope that all of you will be able to hold onto that promise as well. Peace. Blessing and healing to all of you and may the year 2021 bring us to an end of this pandemic.
To the Writers
of this devotional: