Emmanuel: God With Us
God…creator, sustainer, Holiness, worthy of worship and praise.
God…all knowing, always present, sovereign.
God…grace, love, glorious and amazing.
God…father, mother, friend, forgiver, redeemer, restorer.
God WITH us.
God…the one who is beyond time, who knows all, squeezed into NOW. He climbed into time.
He is with us: knowing hurt of loss of father; disrespect and discrediting of family (remember, his brothers thought he was crazy). He knew hunger, thirst, and exhaustion. He knew pain; dying the most painful and humiliating of deaths. He knew the loss of a friend. He knew what it was like to be lied on. He knew what it was like to be misunderstood. He knew anger and disappointment.
He had diaper rash, zits, hangnails, smashed thumbs.
He knew how to party and how to pray.
He knew the glory of heaven, but drew near and crawled into our existence.
God with US.
You, with all the stuff that frustrates, irritates, and separates me from you.
Me, well I guess the same could be said about me from your perspective.
So he chose us, individually and corporately. Which was more important to him? I’m not sure. His coming was for young and old, educated and farm hands, men and women. His coming was announced to those who were looking and dropped as bombshell on some guys hanging out in the fields.
Maybe I would do better to not ask the question. Or to ask a different one. Maybe if I could get a grip on the fact that his name is God with us and not God with me, I would realize in a whole new way how much he loves you, what incredible value you hold to him. And beyond just looking at you differently, perhaps I could look at “us” differently. Perhaps I wouldn’t be so quick to draw lines of differentiation and separation. If I could wrap my brain around how loved and treasured we all are by God and I really began to live that way, then…then maybe there would be less bombs, less hate, less ugliness.
That’s why these words, why this name is so special to me. In Christmas like no other time I celebrate hope—hope that came in the form of a baby. Hope that holds within the form of one so small a hugeness that defies everything I see and touch, and feel and calls me to look at it fresh and new…and with you.