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Immanuel

17December2012

Sunday was the second most difficult Sunday I have preached.  The most difficult was 16 Sep 2001.  The difficulties of these days were not the text but the context.  Speaking hope into the midst of a darkness that most of us can not fathom.  Trying to answer difficult questions, many of which we are afraid to even ask aloud.  The biggest question we ask was first raised for me on my first day of Seminary by our Pastoral Care professor, The Rev. Dr. Tony Everett.

What I thought a simple question as a first year seminarian has become probably the most important question I have asked or attempted to answer in 46 years of living.  The question? “Where is God in all this?” or as Southern Seminary grads know it, “WIGIAT”

Where is God in the midst of tragedy and terror? Where is God in the middle of attacks on children and innocent people that leave us all with tears and questions? Where is God when we are sitting in a doctor’s office and hearing the words, “I have bad news…”? Where is God in when we go to a meeting at work and hear, “We are going to be closing at the end of the month?” Where is God when we sit in a hospice room and death lingers so close by we can feel it?

Let me share a secret of Advent.  Angels came to announce the arrival of Immanuel “God with us”!

Where is God in the midst of heartache, and tragedy? With us!

Where is God when towers crumble and innocent people die? With us!

Where is God when innocent children are murdered? With us!

God isn’t just with us when things are going well.  God doesn’t choose to bless us when we obey and then abandon us when we fall short.  God’s promise is that God is WITH US.

Oh Come, Oh Come Immanuel.

brobston@ccd

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