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December 25, 2019
By Pastor ROGER LEMKE , Pine Island Eagle


Special to The Eagle

The writer of the Gospel of Matthew wants to capture the meaning of Christmas and he does so in one word: "Emmanuel," which means "God with us" (Matt. 1:23). We don't have to go to some other realm to find Him, because he has already found us. When our world crashes in upon us, we can be filled with hope because there is Emmanuel, God with us. Immanuel is God with us when we joyfully sing our Christmas Carols. Immanuel is God with us when we lift a person's spirits by our visit. Immanuel is God with us when you pack the Christmas decorations away and, with an aching heart, you realize afresh that your one son never did call over the holidays. Immanuel is God with us when your dear wife or mother stares at you with an Alzheimer's glaze and absently asks: "What was your name again?"

Ever and always Jesus stares straight into you with his two good eyes and he does so not only when you can smile back but most certainly when your own eyes are full of tears. In fact, Jesus is Immanuel, "God with you" even in those times when you are so angry with God that you refuse to meet his eyes. But even when you feel like you can't look at Him, He never looks away from you. He can't. His name says it all.

You will have a Merry Christmas because the good news of Christmas is that Jesus has come among us to adopt us into his family and He promises to be with us in order that we might reconnect with our selves, with one another, and especially with Him as our Lord and Savior.

Roger Lemke is pastor of Fishers of Men Lutheran Church. The church is at 10360 Stringfellow Road. Call 239-283-1170 for service times and/or additional information.



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