Emmanuel - Seeking God With Us

December 14, 2014

Emmanuel is in those times when nothing goes our way

Today's Scripture: Luke 2:1-7

Daily Scripture Readings & Reflections

  1. Sunday:Luke 2:1-3 (CEB) In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled.

    Reflection: Joseph had a lot of stuff going on in his life. Then he is told he has to drop everything to travel back to his hometown to be enrolled on the tax list.  Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt pressured from all sides?  Not only was your personal/family life busy, but you were overwhelmed with work and other things as well, and then, you receive a demand to drop everything and focus on something that seems to have no bearing on what’s important to your daily life.  How did you feel?  How did you handle the situation? Looking back now, can you see ways in which Emmanuel was with you?

    Breath Prayer: (Inhale) – Through difficult times – (Exhale) – Emmanuel is with me

  2. Monday: Luke 2:4a (CEB) Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line...

    Reflection: To what family line do you belong?  What are the blessings that you received from your family of origin?  In our humanness, all families also come with some kind of brokenness.  How have the blessings and brokenness of your family background shaped who you are today?  Looking back, where do you see Emmanuel’s presence in your family’s story.

    Breath Prayer: (Inhale) – Through difficult times – (Exhale) – Emmanuel is with me!

  3. Tuesday: Luke 2:4b (CEB) ...he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea.

    Reflection: The gospel writer of Luke tells us that Joseph is from “David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea.”  Where is your hometown?  How have the gifts and challenges from the place(s) where you grew up helped to shape who you are today?  Looking back, where do you see Emmanuel in the people and place(s) of your childhood?

    Breath Prayer: (Inhale) – Through difficult times – (Exhale) – Emmanuel is with me

  4. Wednesday:  Luke 2:5 (CEB) He [Joseph] went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant.

    Reflection:In 2014, it may not seem to be a big deal to be engaged and expecting a child at the same time, but 2000 years ago, to be pregnant before marriage was unacceptable and shameful. Imagine for a few minutes how difficult this situation was for Joseph and Mary.  Have you ever felt like you were unacceptable?  Have you ever felt ashamed of who you are?  What made you feel that way?  Pause for a few moments to reflect upon two eternal truths that nothing and no one can ever change:  (1) You are the beloved child of God; and (2) Forever you are loved by God.

    Breath Prayer: (Inhale) – Through difficult times – (Exhale) – Emmanuel is with me

  5. Thursday: Luke 2:6 (CEB) While they [Joseph and Mary] were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby.

    Reflection: Our lives can easily become so filled with struggles and demands that we feel we can’t fit one more thing on our to-do list.  Pause for a few moments and reflect upon one thing you would love to give birth to in your life; something that would nurture your spirit and make your heart sing.  How might you order your life to make room for it?

    Breath Prayer: (Inhale) – Through difficult times – (Exhale) – Emmanuel is with me

  6. Friday: Luke 2:7a (CEB) She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger...

    Reflection: Imagine what Mary must have been thinking and feeling when she held her newborn baby in her arms for the first time.  Can you remember a time in your life when you held a precious gift close to your heart?  What was that precious gift?  Take a moment to offer your thanks to God.  Thought for today:  Sometimes, in the midst of our struggles, something beautiful happens.

    Breath Prayer: (Inhale) – Through difficult times – (Exhale) – Emmanuel is with me

  7. Saturday: Luke 2:7b (CEB) ...because there was no place for them [Joseph and Mary] in the guestroom.

    Reflection: Think about a time in your life when things were not going well.  Perhaps it felt like everything that could go wrong, had gone wrong. After traveling a long way under harsh conditions, Joseph and a very pregnant Mary finally arrived at their destination only to find that there wasn’t a single hotel room to be had anywhere.  Can you remember a time when you felt like you had no place to go or no good options from which to choose?  Looking back, can you see Emmanuel’s provision for you in this difficult time?  Upon reflection, can you recognize that although a stable wouldn’t have been Joseph’s first choice, it was enough?

    Breath Prayer: (Inhale) – Through difficult times – (Exhale) – Emmanuel is with me

 

 
Speakers: Anthony Deluise