Posts Tagged ‘Immanuel’

“The implications of the name ‘Immanuel‘ are both comforting and unsettling. Comforting, because He has come to share the danger as well as the drudgery of our everyday lives. He desires to weep with us and to wipe away our tears. And what seems most bizarre, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, longs to share in and to be the source of the laughter and the joy we all too rarely know.”
Michael Card

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘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 1:22-23

Why do we turn to God so quickly in times of sorrow and struggle, in danger and fear, and forget Him in the times of joy and rejoicing? If God is the giver of joy and He is “God with us,” then He must want to share in those moments of great joy–and even those times of silly laughter and fun.

day after christmasAnd he gave him the name Jesus.—Matthew 1:25

Here another piece is added to the Christmas story. The angel tells Joseph that the child should be called Jesus. Matthew sees that this birth is a fulfillment of the Isaiah 7:14 prophecy: “‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).”

But Matthew does not mention Isaiah. The angel had already covered that when he told Joseph, “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Obedient to this word from the Lord, Joseph takes Mary as his wife, the baby arrives, and Joseph names the child “Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

What are we hearing from Matthew that we did not hear from Luke?

We hear that our troubles are greater than the darkness and problems that come to us from the outside. We have added to the mess we are in by our own sins and failures, and we need to be saved from our sins.

Is it not true that the warm and giving spirit of Christmas wears down quickly as it meets the realities of living in a harsh world? Our children have likely already fought over new toys. And what about you—have you already had an argument, or said a harsh word?

The angel has good news for us: God is with us in Jesus, who came to save us from our sins, are you still taking advantage of it, or have you forgotten the gift after a mere two days?