If you don’t know what Emmanuel means by now, Google it. You haven’t been listening.
We all tend to hang a haloed Jesus on the tree. Eye him on an old canvas painted by a 16th Century artist. Or it’s convenient to leave Him forever a needy, shivering baby in countless creches. Those remembrances are worth something, to be sure. Yet they miss the point.
‘With’ means where I am right now. “Emmanuel” means Jesus actively walking with His men and/or women right through life’s hairiest trials. Those accounts are scattered throughout both Old and New Testaments, reminding us of two vital things . . .
God never has allowed us to become weak by totally shielding us from life’s whitewater rapids.
God never has allowed us to ride those hard experiences alone: He’s been right there with us.
You’re getting that “WITH US” part, right? THAT, friend, is the vital truth of Christmas: that God, through the Person and Living of Jesus, was willing to step down out of the splendid, unimaginable, unending Glory that is His normal atmosphere and join you and me.
Yeah. Right here, right now, right smack in the middle of this untidy, crazy life we’ve created for ourselves.
I know, right? GOD. With you. With me. WITH. Not aloof, above, or apart from. WITH. THROUGH.
Remember that the next time you’re thinking to God, “Do You have a CLUE what this is like for me?”
He’ll be right there, slowly nodding–with one huge hand reaching down to help you back up.
He can do that because He entered our world the same way we do; grew up and lived like one of us; then, when He knew Time was ripe, He did the God part none of us, even on our best day, could not. Jesus stepped off into Death’s cold, impersonal flow. Jesus personally experienced separation from God so none of us who ever receive our King have to!
So, yeah. That whole Emmanuel thing? “God with us”?
That’s a pretty big deal! Get that thing out from under the tree, unwrap that puppy, let it spark and sparkle and empower you. If there’s a single Christmas theme that ought to be bouncing off the walls of Time and Eternity, it ought to be THIS ONE:
“God IS with me! And He’s WITH YOU!”
No matter how it feels, or what you think, you. are. not. alone.
© D. Dean Boone, December 25, 2017