“Thanks for coming.”

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We say it to dinner guests. To friends who come to a significant event in our life like a graduation or wedding or family member’s funeral. It means so much to us when people come, when they show up.

A few years ago in my job as a Spanish medical interpreter, a hospital chaplain said these words to me as we finished a very difficult encounter with a grieving mom about her terminally ill child. He thanked me for coming and helping to bridge the communication gap.

Jesus came too. He came to bridge that gap between our misconceptions of who God is and what he is really like. Jesus went so far as to say “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” And one of the authors of the Bible said “He is the image of the invisible God, the exact representation of his being.” Wow.

He didn’t have to come, and no one ever traveled farther than he did or made more sacrifices to show us his showing-upness. That’s what Emmanuel means….God with us.

So at this time of year especially, I say to Jesus, “Thanks for coming.” He came then, but he also keeps showing up in my life for all the most difficult, messy, heartbreaking situations, and for the great things too.

And when I say “Thanks for coming” to Jesus, do you know what I imagine him responding? “Thanks for having me.”

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3 thoughts on ““Thanks for coming.”

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  1. R.C. Sproul still talks about the time when, as a young theologian, he needed to visit a grieving couple who were losing their daughter to cancer, and he had no idea what to say to them. He really didn’t want to go. All of his theological and philosophical knowledge was fine, but not needed just then. So he just showed up, and sat with them for the evening. Later they told him it meant the world to them that he simply was there for them, as a dear friend who cared. His presence was the best gift he could have offered. Just last year I heard R.C. repeating this story on his syndicated radio broadcast. His answer to the great problem of evil is that we don’t know why evil exists, but we can have the Lord by our side as we face it. The little girl, of course, was our niece Janel, and the couple were Chris and Ed, and I’d guess that they said, “Thanks for coming.” For one evening, R.C. was Immanuel, bringing the light of God into a dark, sad place.

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  2. I love the “helping to bridge the communication gap” is my favorite thing about speaking different languages…
    It’s so cool that you have a blog! and I loved this post! especially “He didn’t have to come, and no one ever traveled farther than he did or made more sacrifices to show us his showing-upness. That’s what Emmanuel means….God with us.” so true and beautiful.
    🙂

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