Immanuel

December 26, 1998
by Denis Briere

John 17:25 – Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. (NIV)

Uoah had a powerful character, even after retirement from the Cuban military. He had always been a defender of Marxist-Leninism, with weapons ready to enforce. I last saw Uoah when he invited me to eat lunch with him at his place. He was keeper of the state food distribution 'bodega' across the street from the new Presbyterian Church in Varadero, ever on vigil in that special period, defending…

I wondered, what could Uoah know of God? His party had cut relationships with God by a wilful act of divorce. When Uoah's party began to ask people "Is there a God?", Uoah's orders were to imprison those who said "Yes". Soon people learned to say "No". But Uoah the soldier had party-issued weapons. Since the women were better at listening, he had the women spy out believers. And so, a faith that had once been "nurturing" was "forsaken" by many. What hope was there for the sake of the people? For Uoah? How was God with them?

There was a place long before Uoah, when God had reached out to people like Uoah. Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, came into a forsaken world, but the world did not know Him. Even His own people learned to say "No". The party at that time wilfully rejected Him. Their military enforced His crucifixion. Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." How was God with them?

Was Uoah aware that he was being included with that same party of crucifiers?

I had a visit from the pastor of that Cuban church a year ago, and he told me Uoah died. But he smiled at me and said: "It was so sudden. One day he came to tell me that he had accepted Christ. Next day, heart attack!"

If by the Holy Spirit, Uoah can know Who sent Jesus, then we too can know this:

Immanuel is the Triune God with us!

Prayer: Almighty Father, we believe that you came into the world as the Incarnate Deity. We sing out to Jesus Christ God's Son, Saviour! For we know that You have sent Him. Amen.

About the author:

Denis Briere <jmilgcs@mymts.net>

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