Read Matthew 1:18-25
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
– Matthew 1:21-23
My office during the year of my vicarage (internship) was in the supply/mimeo/ditto machine room of Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I had a manual Royal typewriter, a desk and chair and some shelves for books. There was also at least one folding chair across my desk for the (very) occasional visitor.
One day an exceptional visitor came into my office. He was a bit apologetic and tentative in his demeanor. But he finally got to the point. “I hope you will receive this in the spirit it is intended.” Then he handed me a check for $300.00. He told me, “When they (the voters at the church) voted not to cover your rent when you came early, I decided that I would do it myself.”
Diane and I had to be in Cheyenne before the official beginning of my vicarage term because she was expecting our first child. We were not going to put her or the child at risk by moving in her eighth or ninth month of pregnancy. We moved, and I worked in the local city park for two months before beginning my actual vicarage. The rent was a whopping $150 per month. Three hundred dollars was a lot of money! I received his gift gratefully. I still remember that man and his wife, and that day some 40 years later!
They fulfilled his own promise, and we were blessed for it.
2000 years ago the God of the universe fulfilled a promise he had made to the world: a virgin would conceive and bear a son and we call his name Immanuel, which means, “God with us”. What a great blessing: God made good on his word and we are the richer for it. God was (and is) with his people.
Think of it; God desires to be with us and for us to be with him. He delights in being near to us, going to the eternal extreme of becoming flesh in order to be with us. God’s presence is a blessing of protection, salvation, hope, courage, favor, and purpose. We are not alone. We are the object of God’s love. He made a promise and then did what he promised – a rare occurrence these days it seems.
The next time someone fulfills a promise to you, thank them and remember God. Remember that God is with us in Jesus – who promised, “surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).