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December 1, 2023


Immanuel, God With Us

I’ll never forget the joy and intrigue of sitting with Callie, my wife, pondering names for our children amid her pregnancies. We would pray and ask for guidance, as we sincerely desired each of their names to carry meaning, life, and blessing. As we deliberated both boy and girl names (we never found out our kids’ gender beforehand), we also considered the many nicknames they might pick up at school with kids they befriended along the way. We had a blast naming our kids!

Names are important, especially in the Jewish world of Mary and Joseph. They weren’t just a term one was called; the followers of Yahweh believed that both nature and destiny lie within the name you give your child. As Matthew described Gabriel’s rendezvous with Joseph in giving our King the name Jesus, he chose to pull another text into the storyline, giving us another name: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel [which means ”God with us”]” (Matthew 1:23 ESV). 

When this tiny ball of wriggling divinity wrapped in humanity was born, He was Immanuel, God with us. On Christmas morning, God broke into a broken and warped world—Immanuel was born; God has come; God is with us!

He was Immanuel that day, but He’s still Immanuel today, God with us. The message of Christmas is the Immanuel miracle—God has come, He is with us, He is not far away any longer, He is here! I want to live my life engulfed and immersed in the Immanuel principle because Jesus is still our Immanuel.

Fear has swept our world, and anxiety seems to rule many, but here is the message of Christmas: “Fear not, for I am here. I am with you; I am Immanuel!” Let’s worship mighty Jesus this Christmas, our Savior. But let’s be baptized in the reality of Immanuel—God is with us. This is Christmas; this is Jesus. 

Our Prepare International team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a deep encounter with Immanuel this season.