All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Thoughts on Today’s Verse: With. Such a simple word used in this passage but yet, used with such depth of meaning. As Mary held Jesus in her arms months after the angel spoke this word to Joseph, the promise was now reality - Jesus, the son of God was finally WITH them. No longer was he just a prophetic word or something heard in a dream. No longer was he in the belly of his mother but he was breathing air, his heart beating, his eyes blinking. He was WITH them. And, HE IS WITH US. Nearly every translation into the English language uses the word WITH. Not - among, around, hanging out, observing, above or beyond - just WITH. Immanuel was promised to be with us. In the middle of wherever we are. Whether it's a struggle with sin, placing our hand on the coffin of a close friend, waiting for another chemo treatment, laughing with our grandchildren, waiting in labor and delivery, walking to the mailbox to receive our unemployment check, waiting for AIDS results, sitting at the bar, driving to drop our children off with our ex, in the courtroom, walking by the sea, signing the divorce papers, on a missions trip, at the grocery story, lying awake through the night…wherever we are, HE IS WITH US. What a beautiful promise. What a reality. Our God CAME to this earth to be with us. Not to shun us. Not to hurt us. Not to reject us. Not to hate us. But…to love us. To get in the muck of our lives and stick with us. This our Immanuel. This is the beautiful truth of Christmas. This is Immanuel. Our God, with us.
Prayer: Thank you heavenly Father for sending us such a beautiful gift, your Son. He didn’t just dwell among us, but he lives with us. Help me recognize His presence with every breath I take. Jesus, Immanuel, is with me.