Dear Family & Friends,
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14
The context of this familiar Christmas verse is fascinating & can be found in chapter 7 of Isaiah. It is a tale of a faithless king, a looming threat of war, & a good news / bad news message from “the” prophet of his day accompanied by his son Shearjashub, which means a remnant shall return. Ironically, it was because of King Ahaz’s unbelief that God inspired Isaiah to publish the famous prophecy of the Savior’s advent. May the grace & peace of Christ richly fill your heart this Christmas season & in the new year.
2013 has certainly been a good news / bad news year for us. It began with our youngest child, Frederick, being admitted to the hospital in the PICU with RSV. However, we were comforted by support from many family members & long-time friends but especially by many new friends at Covenant Presbyterian Church. At work I was excited &thankful to be given the opportunity for promotion to supervisor but then disappointed by being passed over for 3 positions that were filled by seemingly less qualified candidates. As the year closes I am deeply saddened to learn that my mother was diagnosed with 3 kinds of cancer. However, I am thankful for many family & friends who have rallied together to support her as well as the conversations she & I have shared as a result. In the words of my friend Jack (who recently lost his father to cancer), “Cancer sucks, but God is good.” Amen to that.
Whether your year has been one of trials or one of peace, please know that the Lord Jesus Christ is gracious & faithful. From the time of Isaiah to the time of Christ some 800 years passed (What were your ancestors doing in 1213?), but the Son was born just as God promised – Immanuel, which means God with us. And, indeed, He is.