Upon reading the history of the Roman Empire in the era 445 BC to 100 AD, you will note that this was a period of political instability and social unrest. The underlying friction was between those intent on preserving their positions of wealth and power, and the broader population of citizens whose grievances seemed to go unheeded. Disorder was prevalent in the empire. Many historians point to the ills prevalent in those days, ills such as, the squalor, the rise of unemployment, and the increase in disease and crime. Yet in the midst of these times – Immanuel!
In an insignificant village, unnoticed by the world at large, God came into the world with an event that changed the world like nothing else, and ushered into many lives hope and a future – Immanuel!
Moving ahead in history, in the midst of a terrible world war, in the year 1914, on Christmas day a military temporary truce was declared. Starting on Christmas Eve, troops on both the British and German sides began singing Christmas Carols to one another. The sounds of guns and cannons faded along the Western Front in Belgium and were replaced by holiday celebrations, albeit cautious ones, in the trenches. The Germans initiated this temporary “truce” and began with the singing of carols and placement of Christmas trees along the trenches. On Christmas morning, German soldiers emerged unarmed, calling out “Merry Christmas” to the Allied British soldiers in the trenches across no-man’s-land. – Immanuel!
And now, in 2020, our nation appears almost unrecognizable from the nation we knew from just a few years ago. America is torn asunder with racial unrest, a crippling pandemic, and political, civil, and economic unrest. Yet amidst of these uncertain times – Immanuel!
As in the Roman Empire of the past, the war that was to “end all wars,” and in today’s America, the truth remains – Immanuel! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1; cf. Psalm 121). And it is in this truth that we stand on the sure foundation of hope, “for God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power” (2 Timothy 1:7). We can face any and all circumstances with confidence and in full assurance and peace. This is our Father’s world – Immanuel!