For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice for ever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. from Isaiah 65We worship a God who approaches us -- not as a distant deity, but in the birth of child -- a child born to poverty, to exile, to oppression, and to the daily threat of violence from a government that exploited the people it governed and a political leader who held absolute power over people's lives. If we ask where God is today, the anticipation of Advent, the expectation of Emmanuel/God With Us, born today, leads us into the midst of all our brokenness and suffering.
Emmanuel/God With Us, invites us into the places of pain and struggle -- to meet our neighbors and to encounter the healing presence of God. Emmanuel/God With Us invites us to act with expectancy, to live and to love as though God's new creation is now -- doing justice and loving kindness, that we might taste and share the beauty and the joy and the peace of being with God. -excerpt from "Meeting Emmanuel" by Rev. Dr.Teresa Chávez Sauceda, Program Manager for Advanced Pastoral Studies, San Francisco Theological Seminary