By Bill Harder
Immanuel is my family. That includes the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly. Other than my wife’s brother and sister-in-law, my family is four states away. My family rejoices with me in good times and supports me in the bad times. Immanuel is my family. I am accepted for who I am, a sinner and a beggar, united with Jesus. Immanuel is all about family love and care; loving and caring for me when I am sick and in need and loving and caring for our neighbors. Family sticks together in good and bad times. This means that I have a responsibility to gladly do the tasks required to maintain our family. I belong to my family named Immanuel.
How do we build our family? Through fellowship and through serving. The words of Isaiah show us that by serving others our light shines forth. Who would not want to come to the well-watered garden in the scorched places, namely Immanuel and our outposts? Everyone wants to be loved and a part of something bigger but the world does not understand God’s perfect design for church and family. However, as children of God and members of Immanuel, we carry the Good News of Jesus love all because Jesus demonstrated his great compassion for us. We need to share that compassion. We need to forgive one another, invite and welcome others into our family so that we are stronger together.
What would I do if Immanuel did not exist? I would search for another church family like Immanuel and hope that they would adopt me into their family as Immanuel has adopted me.
This is my family, Immanuel in my humble experience.