by Bob Klutts
I have been studying Genesis. Chapter 26 is about Isaac, his flaws, failures, fear and faithlessness. It made me think of my own. No joy there! But it also reminds him that God will be with him in the future, v3, that God is with him now, v24 and that God was with him in the past, v28. Strange sequence and yet so perfect. I can not see the future and see dimly in the present but I can so very clearly see God’s presence in my past. God has been faithful to me, with me. It is a short step to see that God is also faithful now and will be in the future. Joy has arrived! Joy that is not limited by my limitations but is based on God’s steadfast grace.
Ultimately the birth of Jesus is about God’s faithfulness, God’s committed love. It means God will never give up on me or you or the world. God’s ‘withness’ is not always clear and when clear may be surprising, even shocking. But God’s committed presence is the presence of Joy.