Gott Mit Uns, German for God with us, has, over time, become commonly known because of its use as an inscription on German army belt buckles in WWII. Interesting that such a phrase was used to promote such actions. Immanuel, God with us. What does that mean to you?
Eight-year-old Joey lived in a low-income housing development. Church buses made periodic runs through his neighborhood to gather children for Sunday school and other special events. One day, the bus came through and he was invited to a party at the church that very evening, but he only had 15 minutes to get ready. Joey rushed home to tell his mother. Bursting in the door, he shouted with excitement, “There’s a party at that big church tonight and I’m invited!
Assuming it was like the last party he had attended at the church, a costume party for Halloween, he rushed around trying to come up with a costume. While time was short, money was even shorter. Certainly not enough for him to have costumes to wear. Finally, he thought, “Why not go as a haystack?” He took an old brown sweater, put it on and stuffed it with weeds. He even stuck some of the weeds to the outside of the sweater to make it look more real.
Rushing outside, he made it to the bus just in time. Poor Joey was more than surprised when the party turned out to be a Christmas play, not a costume party! Embarrassed, he found his way to a corner and stood there, miserable and feeling out of place. As he waited, he heard one of the adults saying that they couldn’t find the manger.
Forgetting his embarrassment, he said,”Can I help? I’m good at finding things!” The leader explained to Joey that what they were looking for was a box full of hay where baby Jesus could be laid. Apparently, someone had borrowed the one that the church used each year and had not returned it. How could they have a play without it?
Joey looked and looked, but the manger was nowhere to be found. He finally looked down at his costume: Baggy sweater with weeds stuffed in it and poking out in all directions. “I could be a box of hay”, he thought. Laying down on the floor, he announced, “I’ll be your manger. Let Jesus be born in me!”
He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-4
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.-Isaiah 7:14
God with us. Let this be more than a name. Let it be our greatest wish for this season. Let Jesus be born in me!
shared in the workplace 12/23/09;adapted from a story shared at www.savingourboys.com