A few conversations with sisters/friends had me contemplating how much
bitter-sweeter this Christmas seems without the joy of family and friend get-togethers;
how photos in the mail are bittersweet; how keeping the enthusiasm
in much modified plans is bittersweet!
Then, nothing like children to shift our focus...
Why are you listening to this song? asked little Girl
through mouth full of scrambled egg.
Um, because it talks about Immanuel, I answered...
(I love the words to the song below)
"The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us").
...so, while we ate eggs we talked about God;
God With Us, Immanuel
no matter what, or where or when we are never alone!
God is with us all the time so we don't need to be scared or too sad.
How often as I try to teach children my words preach to me...
Bitter-sweeter ring the anthems of the worship we employ
Gratitude and longing duel in Hope’s bitter-sweeter joy
As wonder and hunger mingle in a bitter-sweeter trust
Where an ocean of emotion rolls through mankind’s Soul-full dust
From the heart of Love Unfailing to this groaning, broken world
Hope Immortal keeps its promise in each breath-banner unfurled
Through the Christ-child, born of Mary, in a stable so forlorn
Came man’s Scapegoat, our pardon, on that first glad Christmas morn
Bitter-sweeter bow the branches laden with fresh fallen snow
Mirroring the heart that gazes on a scene of long ago
Where still faithful through the ages gleams the Star that cannot dim
As from bitter-sweeter places we still come to worship Him
Come, and raise a hymn of gladness to He who came to atone
Praise Immanuel, God With Us, we are never all alone
Praise the One whose name is Jesus, come to save people from sin
So the bitter blight of Eden, by God’s mercy will not win
Hallelujah, hallelujah, bitter-sweeter flows our hymn
As we gaze upon the Christ-child who would be torn limb from limb
Where love, faithful to his Father did not scorn salvation’s plan
But obeyed salvation’s Author; Son of God born son of man
Hallelujah, hallelujah, praise He who has overcome
Greater is the One within us than this world’s most mighty sum
He, who came to earth to save us with love none can comprehend
Will not leave us or forsake us but is our most faithful Friend
© Janet Martin
She will give birth to a son,
and you are to give him the name Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."