Emmanuel, God with us

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					2     Canadian Mennonite December 15, 2008

                                          Editorial                                                  In time, the abbot grew old and fell
                                                                                                 ill. Fearful that the teaching that had

                             Emmanuel,                                                           brought such spiritual renewal would be
                                                                                                 lost, the monks gathered around his bed

                    God with us
                                                                                                 and pled with him to reveal the secret of
                                                                                                 their renewed faith.
                                                                                                     In the whisper of a man about to meet
                                                                                                 God, he said for the first time those
                                   Tim Miller Dyck                                               supremely powerful words, “The Messiah
                                   Editor/Publisher                                              is among you.”

                                                                                                    Jesus told us that if we wanted to show

           etired Mennonite Mutual Aid           For if you do, on that day you will die.”       love for him, the way to do that was to
           stewardship theologian Lynn              The rabbi looked straight at the abbot       show love to the people around us in the
           Miller tells the following story in   and then said in a quiet hushed voice,          same way we would for him. “Truly I tell
 his book Firstfruits Living. Here is                   “The Messiah is among you.”              you, just as you did it to one of the least of
 a shortened version.                                      For a while, all was silent. Then     these who are members of my family, you
    There was once a monastery that                      the rabbi said, “Now you must go.”                   ”
                                                                                                 did it to me, he said in Matthew 25.
 had fallen on hard times. Fewer                         The abbot left without a word and          In this time of celebrating Christmas,
 people came to visit. A handful                         no one saw the rabbi again after        there are many ways to honour Christ’s
 of old monks carried out their                          that day.                               example in our daily lives. We bring out
 tasks with heavy hearts. The abbot spent           The next morning, the abbot called his       things of beauty into our lives and homes.
 many hours in prayer, asking God to send        monks together. He told them he had re-         We seek out special ways of showing love
 renewal.                                        ceived a teaching from the rabbi. He was        to other people. We encourage ourselves
    At the edge of the property, an old          forbidden to repeat it, but he was sure it      to exercise the spiritual gifts of generos-
 Jewish rabbi had built a little hut and         was from God and would change their             ity and charity by giving more. We spend
 came sometimes to fast and pray. One            situation.                                      time with people we otherwise might
 day, the abbot decided to visit the rabbi          Change things it certai
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Description: The rabbi looked straight at the abbot and then said in a quiet hushed voice, "The Messiah is among you."For a while, all was silent. Then the rabbi said, "Now you must go." The abbot left without a word and no one saw the rabbi again after that day.Change things it certainly did. Each time the abbot saw one of the monks he thought, "Is Brother John the Messiah? Or Father Matthew? Or me? What does this mean, 'The Messiah is among you'?"
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