And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:21-23)
God With Us
Matthew’s account of the announcement of Jesus birth is filled with wonder. Mary was pregnant with the Son of God and Joseph is concerned what to do. He obviously loves his wife very much refusing to make a public spectacle of her thinking of ways to put her away secretly. As this man of God ponders his life an angel of the Lord comes to him telling him news that would change his life and the world. This story is filled with one of the greatest measures of faith as Joseph immediately accepted the testimony of the angel, believing the impossible that his wife was with child as a virgin, following the will of God with a devoted heart. The gospel writer explains this event was a fulfillment of prophecy from of old using Isaiah’s passage in Isaiah 7:14 to show the message the Son of God would bring to not only the Jews but to the whole world.
God with us. John would later describe Jesus as the Word which became flesh and dwelt among them. We do not serve a God that is impersonal. The nature of God’s love for man is that He sent His only begotten Son into the world in the flesh to dwell with us and bear testimony of His humanity and His divinity. In the days of Jesus’ incarnation the message of “God with us” resounded by His presence, teaching, miracles and then His death. Jesus is a Savior who became like us. He bore the sorrows of flesh. Temptation battled against His will. His life was real. He felt all we feel. The idols of men have no feeling and are impersonal. Jesus is real.
God with us. It has been two thousand years since Jesus walked the dusty roads of Galilee and narrow streets of Jerusalem. He is still with us. His name bears testimony to every generation that God has not forsaken man. The life of Jesus bears the marks of God’s love for man to know we are not abandoned. When we begin to embrace the life of Jesus in our hearts there is a feeling of closeness that is found in knowing He walks with us, talks with us, helps us bear our infirmities and understands our sorrows. Like the men who walked the road to Emmaus our hearts can burn within us because we know that God is with us.
God with us. We have nothing to fear. Life is abundant with dark clouds of doubt and despair. The Light that came into the world in Jesus is the expression of ‘God with us’ and there is nothing to fear. We walk in a dark world but our path is illuminated with the light of His presence and wherever we go He is with us to dispel the darkness. I am not alone. When the days are weary and the long nights dreary I know my Savior cares. He is with me.
Today is Monday. There is much to do on this day with plans for the coming week. Yesterday we enjoyed an oasis of praise and worship to our Father. As the days unfold let us always begin with the joyful thought that God will be us. Jesus is the reason for the day not the season. He is with us now. He is with us now and forever. Take His hand today and walk with Him. Peace. Comfort. Joy. Hope. God is with us.
He bent over the corpse of the dead world, and whispered a word of faith … uttered words then unknown – love, sacrifice, a heavenly origin. And the dead arose. A new life circulated through the clay, which philosophy had tried in vain to reanimate. (Joseph Mazzini, Essays, 1887)