GOD WITH US                                           Matthew 1:18-23

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  (v23)

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ at my right, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ at my right, Christ at my left…” These hymn lyrics, written by the fifth-century Celtic Christian St. Patrick, echo in my mind when I read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth. They feel like a warm embrace, reminding me that I’m never alone. Matthews account tells us that God dwelling with His people is at the heart of Christmas. Quoting Isaiah’s prophesy of a child who would be called Immanuel, meaning “God with us” “Isaiah 7:14) Matthew points to the ultimate fulfillment of that prophesy – Jesus the One born by the power of the Holy Spirit to be God with us. This truth is so central that Matthew begins and ends his gospel with it, concluding with Jesus’ words to His disciples: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” (Matthew 28:20) St. Patrick’s lyrics remind us that Christ is with believers always through His Spirit living within. When I’m nervous or afraid, I can hold fast to His promises that he will never leave me. When I can’t fall asleep, I can ask Him to give me His peace. When I’m celebrating and filled with joy, I can thank Him for His gracious work in my life. Jesus, Immanuel – God is with us.

PRAYER LINE: Father God, thank You for sending Your Son to be God with us. May we experience Your presence this day. Amen.


God’s love became incarnate at Bethlehem (ODB)

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