“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’-which means, ‘God with us."-Matthew 1:23
I love reading all the different names of Jesus in scripture. King of Kings. Lord of Lords. Alpha and Omega. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace. If you asked me what my favorite name would be, I would have to say Emmanuel, which means God with us.
When I look back over my life, I see evidence of Emmanuel in every step of my journey. As a young girl, I would sit and gaze out my window, talking and singing to God. Though I was young, I could sense his presence. He was with me. As a junior in high school, I was bullied by my classroom of girls at school, and I remember coming home crying each night that year. But through that very difficult and painful year in high school, I could sense God’s presence and I knew that He was with me. As a music major in college, I remember throwing my singing binder across the room and telling God that I was done. Though I was discouraged, I knew He was with me. As I knelt down on the stage at my home church where the elders laid their hands on me and anointed me as a Worship Pastor, I knew that God was with me. I said yes to God’s call upon my life to move to Colorado, and during the past year and a half, I have felt the presence of Emmanuel every step of the way.
God with us.
I love the fact that the presence of God is not restricted to a particular place, but we are able to experience his glorious presence every moment of every day-in both the ordinary and extraordinary moments.
What does this Christmas season look like for you? Maybe it’s an exciting year as you celebrate with friends and family, or this might be a different kind of Christmas for you after losing a loved one. Some of you might be traveling to visit family across the country. Wherever you are and whatever you might be feeling, my prayer is that the presence of Emmanuel would be so full and rich in your heart during this season. Remember that you are not alone. You are loved. You are adored. You are redeemed. You are not abandoned. You are not forgotten. Jesus—your Emmanuel—is with you…right now…tomorrow…and every moment of this next year.
Be blessed this Christmas.