Church & Life (1833) 5.2.12-2.5.12 no 7  Each year at the Great Compline of the feast of the Birth of Christ and the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan we constantly repeat the verse which is taken from the Bible “God is with us, understand this all you nations and be humbled because God is with us!”This verse from Isaiah sounds interesting but yet seems to have a sense of warning to it. We have heard and we believe what the church teaches us that “God is with us”. He is with us because He was born in a stable in Bethlehem of Judea. He is with us and one of us as shown by His baptism in the River Jordan. He is with us in the Holy Eucharist which we receive in Holy Communion. God is totally with us. God wants us to understand this and to become humbled. To understand what God has already done for us is indeed a cause for humility on our part. Imagine – God eternal, the creator of the world and the whole universe, God who out of profound love created mankind and gave us this world to live in. God who so loves us, that He promised that each of us will be inheritors of His Kingdom in heaven. That fact that we should have such a God is indeed hard to believe, but we are asked to understand it, because it is real. Furthermore as we reflect upon the words of the profession of faith which we call the “creed” and repeat each Sunday, we see the rest of the facts of the life of God amongst us. We see that He was hated, spat upon, persecuted, laughed at, threatened and abused. Why? Because He preached the coming of the new Kingdom, because He loved the poor, the underprivileged and He rejected the insincerity and privilege seeking of the leaders of the people. He promised that we would be freed of our sins and that we would be saved from eternal damnation. By His Death on the cross and subsequent Resurrection on the third day, He promised that we would all be freed from death itself. Indeed we have a lot to understand, to be thankful for, and be humbled because despite all our actions, which are not deserving of God’s love, God is still with us and He waits for our repentance and our return to His ways. This Biblical verse which we repeat so often is a peaceful reminder of the fact that God is indeed with us. If we understand this, and believe it, we are certainly called to humility before God. Yet we can ask ourselves, how often do we pray? How often do we attend church services which are a part of thanksgiving? How often do we pass on this very important message on to our children? Do we even believe anything that God and the church say? Or are we gambling that there might not be a God and that our future is only to be found in this world and anything we can get out of it? I pray that it is not. Remember “God is with us”.