The name Immanuel means “God with us.” It reminds us that God is not some far off God “out there,” but rather one who is intimately near. In the person of Jesus, God came to live among us in flesh and blood. And through his Spirit he continues to dwell with his people.
The presence of God with us is not something that just happened once upon a time, away in a manger. The advent of Christ is something we can celebrate past, present, and future.
This is also a celebration we can enjoy everyday and in every aspect of our lives. God is with us whether we are roasting chestnuts on Christmas Day or grilling burgers on Independence Day. He is Immanuel on Sunday morning and Tuesday night, and is present with us whether we are driving to work, washing dishes, or even having sex.
It’s a great joy to experience the magic and wonder of Christmas time, reminding us that Christ came to earth that our relationship with the Father could be restored. My challenge is to remember he is Immanuel the rest of the year and in the rest of my life. My guess is that I am not alone in this.
May you live in the fullness of Immanuel now and always!
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means “God with us.” –Matthew 1:23