They shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us“
Christmas is a favorite time of year for me, not because of the gifts we open or the great food we enjoy with our families and friends. It is a favorite because I so loved as a child the moment my Mother would gather us all up on her bed and read to us from the Bible the “Christmas story” from Luke 2: 1-20. We were mesmerized by the story and was something to this day I cherish.
The story now has so much more meaning today as it did to that child so many years ago. No longer is it a tale of a woman who rode a donkey into Bethlehem or that a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes was laid to rest in a manger. Or is it about how the shepherds watching their flock had come to visit or how the three Wise Men had followed the Star of Bethlehem to the site of our Beloved Savior’s birth.
The story is about Faith and teaches us how to believe, to embolden us to follow her example and turn our hearts to God. This, to me, is the true meaning of this saga. Turning our hearts to God and succumbing to his will as Mary did when she offered herself freely believing that it was God’s will.
Taking to heart the meaning of Mathew 1:23 “God is with us” enables us to know that even at our darkest hour, He is with us, if you are happy, He rejoices in your joy and if you are stressed, He offers you peace. When you are hurting he reminds you that, “I am with you always.” This is our greatest gift that we received so long ago. It is my wish to remind you to cherish this gift and humbly pray
Jesus, I believe that you are ‘God with us.’ Help me to become more open to your presence and your will. I want to be with you always, just as you are with me.