Tuesday, December 20, 2011
This time of year it is common to hear the name "Emmanuel" when speaking of Jesus. Most of us even know the meaning of the name, thanks to some popular songs. But what does it mean to you? If "Emmanuel" means "God with us" then what does it mean to have God with you? It might be very comforting to know that God is with you and it might be very discomforting, depending on what you are up to.
The first biblical mention of the name is in Isaiah 7:14. Isaiah tells King Ahaz to ask God for a sign that God was on his side but Ahaz refused. He said he didn't want to test God which sounds noble enough but what he really was saying was "I got this. I don't need God." Not a good choice when several armies had allied against him but he made his choice.
Even though Ahaz rebelled, God still sent the sign, a sign that was fulfilled by Jesus 700 years later. That's good news for you and me. It's good because it shows God's grace, that even when we rebel, He is faithful. There are consequences to our rebellion but God will always be faithful to protect and provide for our sake and for the sake of His Kingdom.
So, this Christmas season be aware that God is with you. He is with you when you are doing stupid stuff and causing Him grief so be mindful of that but he is also with you when it seems like everybody else is celebrating. He is with you when your own grief at not having that special person in your life is overwhelming. He is with you when your wife leaves, the boss fires you and your friends are taken from you. He is with you. The question is, are you with Him?