your gift to us

The Dream of Saint Joseph

We praise you, O God,
    that we do not need to search the earth
        to find you;
    we do not need to engage in elaborate spiritual gymnastics
        to bring you close;
    we do not need to hide ourselves from the world
        to be found by you.

No, in your immense love,
    you have taken the initiative,
    you have made yourself known,
    you have filled every moment and every space
        with your presence;

The advent we celebrate, the incarnation we remember,
    are simply your gift to us,
        your reminder,
        your proclamation,
    that you are, ever and always,
        God with us.

We praise you, O God,
    for being our Emmanuel,
        our God with us,
    and for the love we find in you.


John van de Laar, South African Methodist worship minster


As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
    She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
    which means ‘God is with us.’”

One thought on “your gift to us

  1. I wish I could have heard this South African minister pray this prayer in person. It’s powerful as written but would have been riveting, I suspect, coming from his lips to our ears.


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