What was spoken through the prophet is fulfilled:
Look! A virgin will become pregnant
and give birth to a son,
and they will call him, Emmanuel.
(Emmanuel means “God with us.”)
In bomb-shattered cities
children unable to play freely in the streets
In poverty-wracked slums
families struggling to put food on the table
In violence-plagued neighborhoods
the young learning early that life is cheap
On tear-soaked refugee trails
people desperately looking for a way to freedom
On vulnerable island shores
communities fighting the futile battle against rising sea levels
In the midst of everyday pain,
in the grip of widespread suffering,
the promised one comes and takes up residence among us.
Emmanuel – God with us in our deepest need.
There is no one left out of this divine scheme,
no one whose accident of birth disqualifies them,
no one whose skin color lessens their sacred worth,
no one whose race or gender changes their standing before God,
no one whose religion or lack thereof alters God’s affection for them.
God’s concern is with the whole.
God’s dream is that we all will one day see:
What affects one affects all.
Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.
Suffering is never isolated or contained.
We weep with those who weep,
our tears mingling with the tears of divine compassion.
God with us—
the whole human race,
the whole soul-stirring creation,
the whole beguiling mystery of what it means to be alive.
God with us—
in our search for wholeness,
in our poverty of spirit,
in our labor for peace with justice,
in our reaching out with hearts and hands to help,
in our holding on tenaciously to hope.
Words (c) 2015 Mark Lloyd Richardson
Photo Credit: NASA Earth Observatory