Immanuel: God With Us

image courtesy david bowman

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:22-23, quoting Isaiah 7:14

He comes.
And He stays with us.
Not as a visitor some cold Christmas Eve in a feed-trough of hay.
But as a Friend near to our arms and hearts,
Sitting beside us by the fire,
A fire of homeless night finger-warming,
Or a fire of granite-hearth living space,
He comes and stays,
Sharing our joys and our pains,
Our homelessness and our nestled-ness.
He comes and delights in us,
He comes to share with us,
He comes to listen,
He comes to impart.

He loves,
He encourages,
He welcomes,
He comforts.
And He stays,
Arm-around-our-shoulders close.

He is here.

In our fear,
In our hope;
In our desperation,
In our delight;
In our despair,
In our overcoming;
In our suffering,
In our exultation;
In our so-near-we-can-feel-His-heartbeat,
In our so-cold-our-fingertips-and-hearts-are-numb.

In our bitter memories,
In our best imaginations.

In our days of chemo,
In our days of promotion;
In our days of foreclosure,
In our days of dreams-come-true;
In our days of dark almost-dying,
In our days of magical wonder.

In our nights of longing,
In our nights of dreaming;
In our nights of babes in pain,
In our nights of overjoy.

He comes.
He stays.
He calls.
He heals.
He holds.
He understands.
He strengthens.
He redeems.
He celebrates.

Above all,
He comes and does not leave.

God with us.

Blessed Christmas-tide-and-forever friend,
Welcome, Jesus.
And thank You.

Merry Christmas!


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