acolytes lighting candles

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Immanuel.  God with us.  There is no greater promise.

It’s getting close.  The day is almost here.  The commercial world has been preparing us since before Halloween.  As we mark the fourth Sunday of Advent today, as Christians we have prepared for Jesus’ coming in radically different ways than the world around us. 

The Oguich family has not been without life’s challenges in 2019.  I had three more eye surgeries, one in January, one in February and one in March.  Abby has been doing the hard work of rehab for her second torn ACL.  In August we said goodbye to our 13-year-old Labrador retriever, Champ.  And in September, while recovering from ulcers on his corneas, Eric was informed his position at Food Lion was eliminated. 

But the promise of the prophets rings true for us.  Immanuel.  God with us.  My eyesight has been fully restored so much so that I no longer have to wear contacts or glasses (in fact my surgeon cannot believe how well I’m seeing!).  After two long years, Abby is now back on the basketball court, playing for the University of Lynchburg the game that she loves.   And as I write this, the ulcers in Eric’s eyes have completely cleared up, and this afternoon he has a job interview. 

We are all surrounded by life’s challenges.  We have friends and family dealing with cancer, addiction, depression, the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia – to name just a few.

But now we celebrate the light over darkness, the One who comes to save us all.      

Immanuel.  God with us.  There is no greater promise.

Judy Oguich

©2018 Trinity United Methodist Church