I was struck this morning by something I read in my daily Bible reading notes, Day By Day With God:
‘Even God, the creator of the universe, never planned to do it all on His own. He fully intended to draw us round Him, a family bearing His name, transforming the world with His love.’ (Lyndall Bywater)
And I started to think about that word, that name for Jesus, which is repeated so frequently at this time of year: Immanuel, God-With-Us.
God-With-Us: The Great and Mighty God, bigger than anything else, infinite, beyond imagination, moved into our neighbourhood, pitched His tent next to ours, came to live a finite human life in all its mess and glory, and constrained Himself to our limitations, to be our brother and friend, to identify fully with us.
God-With-Us: Knocking on our door, all He needs is an invitation in, God doesn’t look at how untidy our lives are, how ready we are or not. We don’t earn the right to the company of the King of kings. Our nationality, our social status, our gender, our sexuality – none of it matters. God loves us, all of us, and wants to be with each of us.
God-With-Us: (And this is the bit I never noticed before!). God wants us partner with Him in the great and glorious plan to make this earth we live on a better place. He gives us the strength to be different, better people. He wants us to do it with our fellow human beings and with Him. He commits to us and we commit to Him as we move forward hand in hand. We can’t do it without Him and He won’t do it without us. We’re a team!
Let’s remember this during the Christmas season and beyond. It’s about God Himself translating His Word into a language we understand – that of an actual human life. It’s about us inviting Him in so we can live life in all its fullness.. And it’s about Him and us working together in partnership, facing whatever comes our way together, spreading the love and expanding the Kingdom wherever He takes us.
May we all know the excitement, comfort, and strength of God-With-Us.